“Happy” is today’s #28February flowers2021 prompt and since there are so many people that are happy about Lunar New Year being the sign of the Ox, and because one of my friends has asked me to paint orchids, I thought “OOH” (lol) Orchids Oxen Happiness …. I have to say that seeing so many references to the Lunar New Year and all of the excitement –it’s contagious. I am deciding to also be excited.
Growing up in small, rural town in NC, I can’t say I had much exposure to different cultures. I remember in 5th grade going to a friend’s house that had an Asian doll dressed in a kimono neatly protected beneath a glass box. I was mesmerized. I wanted one for myself.. A few years later a boyfriend of my mom’s took me to eat Chinese food for the first time. Even though it was probably very “Caucasian” as my former boss Joseph Lau used to say, I was excited. My mom also had a friend from the Philippines that would come over and cook her native dishes in our home for us to try. The care and effort she put in the food is what made it so good. I was hooked.
When I moved to NYC, I was so fortunate to be surrounded by countless cultures. There was a culture lesson nearly every day.
Recently, I have read that the Asian community has been facing horrible experiences in light of this virus origins. It makes me so sick to think that people look for reasons to discriminate. My fortune comes from having many people in my life of an Asian heritage---whom I love dearly.
For the life of me, I can’t understand how our society works overtime to hate others that don’t look like them or have different customs. One of the best gifts in my life has been to have the privileges of experiencing different cultures. I wish everyone understood what a gift it is to have these unique experiences.
Thank you to Reye of Sandwich Hag that combined Lunar New Year with World Down Syndrome day a few years in a row, until last year when we had to cancel. Those events were so filled with love and excitement….they indeed made me happy. I will be even happier when we can celebrate together once again in person with all kinds of hugs and as she says commUNITY.
I offer my heart felt art in a desire to love one another and celebrate our diversity. It is truly the greatest gift of all…..
Happy Lunar New Year!