Well, I had a very nice Tet lunch thanks to hosts Jenny and Conor and their beautiful baby daughters, Mia and Cammie and their friends. I say "I" because Matt woke up with a cold and didn't want to expose anyone, especially the babies, so he stayed home and missed the fun. We had a nice relaxing lunch of bunches of fried rice, beef sticks and pho--and coconut cake and green tea for dessert. The girls just came home from Vietnam in early Jan. and are happy as little clams with their new family. It is sooooo nice to get first hand tips on travel and baby stuff from them---there is so much to know and learn, I need all the info I can get! Thanks guys! It was so nice to share in the girls first Tet celebration and I look forward to more and playdates when buttercup comes home!
Monday, February 19, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Today marks the beginning of Tet (the Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration) this year--It is the Year of the Pig--important to us because we figure Buttercup will most likely be born in this year--that is a picture of her little stuffed pig-it is so soft--I hope she likes it! I have been learning a little more about this important Vietnamese holiday and how it is celebrated so that I am not so clueless. I'm sure there is a lot more to it than I have read so far, but I was just looking for some kinds of things we could incorporate into our way of celebrating it in the future. Here are a few Tet highlights that I have learned so far....
- The holiday lasts for 3 days, however the preparation and celebration usually extends it considerably. It is a time of excess and revolves around lots of food. Everyone cleans and paints their houses, pays debts, makes amends with family and friends and buys new shoes and clothes--all for good luck in the coming year and to start off the year anew.
- It is a time to visit with friends and family--much emphasis is placed on the first visitor to the home...if the person is rich, prestigious or happy then the family will have a year full of good fortune. The first day is reserved for visiting family and relatives- the second, for special guests and good friends, and the third for teachers and business associates. Visitors end their visit with a farewell wish for the family (for ex: "I wish that money will flow into your house like water and out like a turtle." Negative talk or arguments are taboo. Children are encouraged to behave positively during the holiday in order to ensure good luck in the new year.
- Many people shop for and give as gifts small trinkets, food, firecrackers and flowers. Homes are decorated with flowers and good luck symbols are hung from the Tet tree (or Tac). There are dragon dances in the streets. There is gambling everywhere--in homes and on the streets--as the winners are guaranteed good luck in gambling all year and the losers will have good luck in all other affairs. Firecrackers used to be set off everywhere, but were outlawed in 1995 when 71 people were killed by them in celebrations in 1994.
- The holiday is also a time to honor deceased relatives. On altars are places pictures of the deceased with trays of fruit, coins and a tall vase of flowers which symbolizes luck and prosperity. The third day of Tet is also reserved for visiting the graves of relatives.
-The color red symbolizes luck and prosperity. A watermelon is sometimes cut and the redder the inside, the more luck for the family. Red envelopes with coins (Lucky money or Li xi) are are given to children on the first morning of Tet by parents, siblings, other relatives and close friends to congratulate them on becoming a year older.
- The Vietnamese do not know or acknowledge the exact day of their birth. Tet is the celebration of everyone becoming a year older. Instead, they simply say they were born in the year of the pig, rat, horse, etc. Everyone is considered a year older at the new year regardless of when their actual birthday occurs during the year.
So, now you know what I know! Just thought it was all very interesting and thought I would share...... we are going to our first Tet get together-today with another adoptive family--I'll update later on the fun.......
Posted by ~Kim at 2/18/2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
Posted by ~Kim at 2/16/2007
Friday, February 09, 2007
Posted by ~Kim at 2/09/2007
Friday, February 02, 2007
Wow, two posts right in a row--almost unheard of from me! :) Just wanted to share that I got the official update and we are now officially number 13 on the list--someone else ahead of us on the list decided to hop off and pursue other options, so we move up again! And we also heard that our dossier was sent off to Vietnam this morning!! Yay--all good news for the weekend!
Last, but not least, there are a few special needs children that my agency is trying to find families for, so I thought I would put it out there and help get the word out....
This is what they said:
".....we are trying to place a few children with special needs in case you know of anyone who is interested:
a 6 year old boy who may have some developmental delays (cute photo)
an older baby girl with cleft palate ( very cute- I saw the photo)
an 11 year old boy healthy ( also a cute photo)
a 13 year old girl- healthy and quite beautiful"
So, spread the word if you know of anyone that may be interested in bringing these sweeties home....
Happy Friday Everyone!
Posted by ~Kim at 2/02/2007
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Posted by ~Kim at 2/01/2007