Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Niu Year

I was reading that's the way the young Chinese that speak English are greeting each other this year..."Happy Niu Year". It's the year of the ox, and "ox" in Chinese is "niu" which is pronounced almost identically to our "new". I got a giggle out of that one, and was wishing it had been the year of the ox when I was there, because "Xin nian kuai le" (Happy New Year) is almost impossible for this Texan to get out of her mouth.

JR and Ayi were traditional Chinese last night and spent Chinese New Year's Eve making dumplings. JR really does like to help cook (must get that from Jason). And yes, in case you're wondering, it's also tradition to wear a Batman costume while you work. Okay, I made that last part up, but the Chinese have so many traditions they won't notice if I throw another one in there...besides, we were just happy he was wearing a shirt!

During part of the dumpling making process I was downstairs and heard all kinds of banging upstairs. About that time Ayi came and got me and told me to bring the camera. To my horror I found JR chopping onions with the giant butcher knife only Ayi uses. I quickly took a picture hoping not to freak out or faint. JR and Ayi were both so proud I couldn't bring myself to use common sense and tell them "no", but I think she could tell by the look on my face that there needed to be some extremely close monitoring going on.

Getting them all "wrapped" up.

Ayi and I went to JR's school today and talked about Chinese New Year. I read Tiki Tiki Tembo to the class and then the kids all ate the dumplings JR and Ayi had made. We taught them a few Chinese words, and as you can see, I brought in some Chinese costume pieces (hats and vests) for them to try on. You can't tell from the picture, but JR looked super-stylin' in his Chinese PJ's with Spiderman snowboots! JR is sitting on the floor behind the blonde girl in the pink ski bib.


Me Me Me said...

That's so great that Ayi got to go to school! Wish I could have some of those dumplings. Did you know I was born in the year of the ox? I wonder if there's any meaning to it that our baby will be born during an ox year as well...

Anita said...

I want some dumplings! Can you Fed-ex a few of those our way? Or just send Ayi here:)

kyle and robin said...

tikki-tikki-tembo no sarembo cherry berry oochy pip perry pembo! so I know I didn't spell that all right, but I had to tell you that that book was my brother marc's FAVORITE book when he was little. he was a totally hyper kiddo and ran around the house repeating that phrase over and over! when I taught 2nd grade a few years ago, I read it to my class and they LOVED it too!

Anonymous said...

JR in training to be the next Iron Chef! I'm sure he and Ayi were well received today for Chinese Niu Year--how fun. I would LOVE to have such distinguished guests in my Foods Lab!
Love, Lu

Anonymous said...

What a great way to celebrate. The babies' Chinese costumes are cute. Maw-Maw

Anonymous said...

Does that little town realize how lucky they are to have you living amongst them. How many schools had a Chinese speaking citizen, a five year old that speaks the language and authentic Chinese Dumplings to help celebrate the Chinese New Year. Even Kyle and Reed are into the celebration with their customs from China. You made it special for all. You are great!!! GS

Jan said...

Al- Yes, it is a very big deal for both you and the baby to both be an ox!
Anita-How awesome if we could just send Ayi back and forth!
Robin-Tikki must be the book of choice for hyper kids, JR LOVES saying that name too!
Lu-I wish Ayi could come and show your kids how to make dumplings! She would LOVE that!
Sherry-I don't think Durango got the memo on how "fabulous" we are...We may be a little TOO different for them to appreciate!