Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Getting A Head Start on the New Year

Tonight was a big culture night for our family. Eventhough the Chinese New Year is a month away, we were invited to a traditional Chinese New Year event...a dumpling making party. The host of the party insisted I bring the girls, and since I was technically working the event(I'm covering Chinese New Year traditions for the local paper), we made it a family outing.

It sounds silly now, but this whole event presented us with a few questions. Such as what does one wear to make dumplings, what does one take to make dumplings and what exactly goes into a dumpling, but our hosts assured us that dumpling making was easy, the girls could participate, casual dress expected and beer was perfectly acceptable for us to bring, so we figured we would fit right in.

We arrived at the house and were greeted by a packed room of people making 'jiaozi'. There were rollers and stuffers and pinchers all working together in a very tidy, efficient production line. The girls pulled up a couple of bar stools and joined right in. With the aid of a couple of the women, La Nina and the Magster were 'jiaozi' making experts within the hour.

After the dumplings were put together, trays were carried to the garage where the President of the Chinese community was working the hot pot. If you could look past the lovely BMW that was parked next to him, it was a very traditional scene. A man squatting next to a hot pot, scooping out dumplings with this wooden tool when they were cooked.

After the work ended, we were treated to a Chinese banquet that was fabulous. The dumplings were great, but so was everything else. There were rib dishes and bean curd dishes and other treats just to die for. For the kids, there was pizza...some party traditions are truly multi-cultural. And I have to say, there were quite a few beers consumed, not just by us.

Finally, what banquet wouldn't be complete without a little karoake? The group broke into song, led by the Dad of this house, of course. Some people were playing cards around the table and the kids retreated to their computer games. And this one boy about 11 sat down and start pounding out some amazing tunes on the piano.

But by far, the best moment of the night for me was when one of the women looked at La Nina and asked her, "Do you have a Chinese name?"

And she very proudly answered, "Yes. It's Zhu Yue Ming."

It's the first time I ever heard her answer that name independent of me and all I could think was 'That's my girl!'

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