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9.23.2007

Glimpses of China

The past several days have brought our family several bits of a far away land. This is a land that means more to me than most folks could ever imagine. Some people have asked me how I can "romanticize" a country that has harsh family control measures under a communist rule. The best way I can answer is that there are people in my everyday life that I don't see eye-to-eye with on all issues, but that I love just the same. While China may have a government that makes policies I don't understand, it is still a land steeped in a rich, fascinating culture and most importantly, it is the land of Kylie's birth!

We started our glimpses of China with the language. I hope that Kylie has the opportunity to learn the language of her homeland. I've tried my hand at both Spanish and French and didn't get very far with either one. But I'd like to try again with either Mandarin or Cantonese to help my daughter know how seriously I take honoring her heritage. Thursday night we went to a FCC meeting about Chinese calligraphy and I'm proud to say that in our hour of time Ian and I both learned how to write Kylie's middle name. In English it is BaoZhen, but in Chinese (fascinating thing about Chinese characters is that written the language is the same, but pronunciations are different from Mandarin to Cantonese) it is very artful. Ian was having a good time practicing and got quicker ~ and smaller ~ as the evening wore on!
**It takes three characters to make her middle name, the first is Bao and then it takes two to make Zhen. Our instructor looked up the characters in a Chinese to English dictionary and confirmed that together BaoZhen means "priceless treasure." How fitting for our sweetie!

Saturday our glimpse of China was more visual and audio as we went to "Festival in the Park" to see the Little Lotus Troupe. Little Lotus is a group of girls ranging from age 5 to 12 that honor their Chinese heritage by practicing once a week to learn traditional Chinese dances. They performed two numbers, one lantern dance, and one fan dance. Kylie was in amazement from the moment they walked on the stage. I'll admit that at first I thought Ian and I were just beginning the tradition of going to see the troupe, but she pointed excitedly when they first appeared and couldn't take her eyes off them.


The lantern dance

The fan dance


video
Kylie shows her enthusiasm for the dancers. Do we have a future Little Lotus in our family?

Then today we finished up by attending a picnic hosted by FCC. There were 34 families in attendance, many with more than one child from China. It was pretty exciting to be back in an environment where (at least in the generation of the children there ~ several families also had birth children) caucasian faces were in the minority and Asian faces were the majority. Kylie had loads of fun ~ despite being one of the youngest girls there ~ and managed to make a few new friends. The heat of the day seemed to affect many of us adults, but the kids seemed resistant to the 95 degree heat and played at full speed for hours. Here's hoping to a sound night's sleep for all families that were there!

"Race ya!"

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful weekend to celebrate our precious Kylie's heritage. It was so fun to watch her strong reaction to the cute dances of the Chinese girls at Festival in the Park. Kylie watched every minute with intense interest! She'll grow-up to understand and love her heritage. I'm proud of you Mommy and Daddy.
LaoLao

aunt traci said...

How cute!! She is going to be a dancer or cheerleader just like aunt traci!