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Embracing Chinese Cultural Harmony



 

Last year, we got hit with the full blast of COVID causing damages that were financially, mentally and, indeed, socially impactful. The last one was the most important for Owen for many reasons. One of the main reasons is because of the culture. Like Americans, Chinese people are social butterflies and that goes double for the Owen staff. I was told that they were encouraged to create and promote harmony to all. It’s one of the main reasons why I chose Owen. I didn’t get that last year but this year was a complete 180.


The Chinese New Year consists of three holidays that links together. It’s the new year, itself, the Spring Festival and the Lantern Festival. Quite a lengthy holiday, I must say. And while I had plans to just sit back and relax, my boss had something else in mind…for everybody.

I got a message about a Lantern Festival being celebrated through a party. This was a couple of weeks after the Spring Festival Party and it was for the foreign teachers. It would have been rude not to go. Good thing, too, because the party was beautiful for a number of reasons.



Full disclosure, if I’m in an unfamiliar environment, I can come off cold and unapproachable. Now, when I’m around friends and/or some place I’ve been before, I’m the complete opposite especially when I have energy to bounce off of. That’s what made this party so much fun. I was able to have fun and make new friends. And, I did this while engaging in some of the traditions revolving around the festival.

My favorite was the first one: dumpling making. It was my time and I did okay. The activity became a little difficult when I had to put a coin in there to symbolize good fortune (I think that’s what it means). Even better, we got to eat them as part of the overall meal spread. Absolutely amazing.

The other two activities I didn’t take part in because I was too busy talking to friends to hear it. However, I did get to watch them which was equally satisfying. Creating calligraphy would have been cool and craft lantern would have been amazing but I was still able to enjoy myself. How? The energy through harmony.



Have you ever been at a gathering and, though you’re not actually participating, you’re having a wonderful time? That’s because you’re feeling that harmonious aura spreading about. I felt that twice. Both of them at an Owen Party and, I have to tell you, it’s a feeling like no other. Want to know something? It also helps with pushing me to starting conversation with complete strangers. A social aphrodisiac, if you will.



The party ends with the big boss giving everybody gifts; I got a coffee mug. It was the prefect gift for two reasons: (1) I actually started to collect mugs and, more importantly, (2) I drink coffee and tea like its breast milk. As a side note, I have nine mugs as I began my collection. Oh my goodness, the party was beautiful and the host and company was just as beautiful as they radiate harmonious energy.

We also did KTV (Karaoke). Personally, I’m not big on karaoke but, if asked, I’m a good sport. I can’t sing all that well but I have no problem embarrassing myself for the sake of a good times. Plus, I wasn’t alone which made it better. Last time, we played our favorite songs. This around was Disney; I swear we are still kids at heart. I guess that’s to be expected from teachers, huh? God knows I still am! And I can’t wait to see the next invitation! In the meantime, I continue to be the ambivert writer/teacher that likes to be silly.


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