When I was growing up in the 1970s in the Bay Area in northern California, celebrating Chinese New Year’s meant going to my grandparents’ house in Oakland’s Chinatown from our house in the suburbs. We not only went to celebrate the actual first day of the New Year. We went to my Ngin-Ngin and Yeh Yeh’s house for dinner to close the new year, too. The kitchen and dining rooms would be heaped with containers of food including jai and other dishes symbolizing prosperity; there would be fish, seafood, chicken, pork, vegetables, cellophane rice noodles (fun see), a bowl of white rice that was constantly refilled. For dessert, there were the (American-style) cakes my mother made — I think my grandfather, Yeh Yeh, favored chocolate with white frosting — and also containers of mango sherbet from Merritt’s bakery.
Photo by Bernard Oh
Photo taken in Singapore by coolinsights
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