Sunday, March 28, 2021

My First Chinese New Year

My first Chinese New Year was an extremely enjoyable and joyous experience, it was all thanks to the love and kindness of my coworker Kelly and her wonderful family who invited me to their home that night. But to do this wonderful night any justice, we must start at the beginning!

“Andy! Andy! Andy!” My coworker said a couple days before we left campus to enjoy winter break. After chasing me down she asked if I wanted to join her and her family for Chinese New Year. I accepted the very kind invitation and agreed to meet up at the school at 5 o’clock. The funny thing was, I did not have the slightest clue what Chinese New Year was or any of the customs associated with the holiday. My natural response as not to look uncultured was to look up and watch every youtube video on planet earth about the subject. The only thing that stuck with me was 恭喜發財, which is pronounced Gōngxǐ fācái, but yet again my uncultured side was unaware that when you say this you’re most likely giving a red envelope (which is usually filled with money) to someone. I had to learn that the hard way as we were in our weekly meeting and I was eager to show off my new Chinese phrase., As our meeting concluded, I said my fancy new phrase, to which there were 6 open palms waiting for a red envelope in return; I said “Oh!” and then we proceeded to laugh for quite a bit of time. 

The day finally arrived, and at 5 o’clock  my coworker picked me up and we headed to her house. I was instantly greeted with warm smiles and a delicious smell coming from the kitchen. I hung out with her family, had a giant meal and shared many good moments such as playing with the kids, watching Kung Fu Panda, and trying pig stomach for the first time. 

It was an incredible time, I didn't even want to leave. I learned an amazing lesson that love and kindness transcends any language or cultural barrier. I could not have spent a better Chinese New Year.


Andres Pinilla is an eighteen year old young man who came all the way from New York City to teach English in Nantou, Taiwan. He enjoys exercising, trying new foods and playing sports. When its a teaching week he also enjoys playing soccer and basketball with the students. He grew up in a family of six kids which includes five sisters and one brother! He has enjoyed caring for animals ever since he was little and continues to do so in Shuilli ( his school town) by caring for two dogs named Jie Jie and Mei Mei. His favorite Taiwanese food has got to be dumplings, he says he eats them at least once every two weeks! He hopes to learn Chinese while being here and grow in many other areas in his life with the help of those around him. 

No comments:

Post a Comment