Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Most Unusual Chinese New Year

For a few years now, we have had the idea of heading down to Chinatown for the New Year's celebration. Thanks to He Laoshi, we finally made it happen this past weekend.

I have to say that for us "mainlanders", it was a most unusual Chinese New Year. We didn't even know what the Taiwan flag looks like, but we quickly figured it out! (After a false start during which Desi thought she was looking at scores of Tibetan flags!) Yes, we quickly figured out that it is the Republic of China, and not the People's Republic of China, that is at the heart of Washington, DC's Chinese New Year celebration.

My personal favorite moment came when one of the politicians on stage started by observing that Taiwan was a founding members of the United Nations and now doesn't even have a voting seat. From there, he made the connection to the lack of voting rights in the United States Congress for residents of the District of Columbia.

Yes, it was a local and global democracy party, a party that once again demonstrated how much the four of us (who naturally associate the Chinese people with the Chinese Communist Party) still have to learn...



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