This picture was in the Malaysia Star Newspaper last Tuesday. My friend Jill next to me loves everything Chinese. As you can see her home is beautifully decorated with bamboo, and various pictures. Well she had a friend at the paper who wanted to do a photo op with her. The Title of the article was "American Twist to CNY" (Chinese New Year). They needed some extra bodies to toss the "Yee Sam" , a traditional raw fish salad served at CNY. We are all tossing with chopsticks in our very traditional Chinese clothes. Jill has lived in Penang for 5 years and 5 years in Singapore before that. She takes Mandarin, and she practices Feng Shui and Qigong (a mental practice). The lady in the pink with the boy is my friend Karen from Florida. She is LDS too and a great sounding board for me. I like this picture because it makes me look really skinny. I got tons of calls from friends saying I looked so thin.
Chinese New Year in Penang is celebrated the full 15 days. They start out by cleaning and sweeping everysingle corner of the house. Then the broom won't be touched for fear of sweeping out the good luck! In America we are used to eating Manarin oranges from the can. Here in Penang they are in great abundance in the fresh variety. They are given to hosts as good luck gifts in 2's or 4's. Also all unmarried children, guards, drivers etc. are given an Ang Pow. An Ang Pow or Hong Bow is a little red envelope filled with money. Red is Luck, Gold Prosperity. The Chinese are very superstitious and love the word Auspicious adj: encouraging, favorable, luck prosperous etc.. There are dozens of Chinese superstitions around this time of year, and we are having a blast getting in on the fun. We will probably always celebrate Chinese New Year as a major holiday now for the rest of our lives. Gong Xi Fa Cai !