THE YEAR OF THE PIG

February 06, 2019 at 4:45 am

Fortune and luck lie ahead as we ring in the Year of the Pig. Millions around the world will be celebrating the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year. We’ll join the celebration with a decidedly New York twist.

For more information on the Museum of Chinese in America and their Lunar New Year celebrations, click here.

Aired on February 5, 2019.

Transcript Print

>> TONIGHT, ACROSS THE WORLD,
MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ARE GETTING
READY TO CELEBRATE THE LUNAR NEW
YEAR.
THE YEAR OF THE PIG HAS
OFFICIALLY BEGUN AND ONE WHICH
COMES WITH HOPE OF WEALTH AND
FORTUNE.
THE TRI-STATE AREA IS HOME TO
ONE OF THE LARGEST
CHINESE-AMERICAN COMMUNITIES IN
THE COUNTRY.
THE SPECIAL TIME OF YEAR KICKS
OFF TWO WEEKS OF FAMILY
GATHERINGS, CULTURAL TRADITIONS
AND DELICIOUS MEALS.
JOINING WITH US DETAILS ON THIS
YEAR'S CELEBRATION IS THE
PRESIDENT OF THE MUSEUM OF
CHINESE IN AMERICA LOCATED IN
DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN.
>> THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HOSTING
US AGAIN.
>> TELL US ABOUT THE NEW YEAR
THAT WILL BE DAWNING UPON US.
>> IT'S THE YEAR 4,717 IN THE
CHINESE CHRONOLOGICAL CALENDAR.
>> WOW.
>> THEY'VE BEEN AROUND FOR A
WHILE SO THEY KNOW HOW TO THROW
A GOOD PARTY.
THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING IN NEW
YORK CITY AND NOT ONLY THOSE IN
NEW YORK CITY BUT THERE ARE OVER
40 MILLION CHINESE IN THE GLOBAL
DIASPORA AND THEY'RE LIVING IN
OVER 150 COUNTRIES SO YOU'RE
SEEING A LOT OF LUNAR NEW YEAR
CELEBRATIONS AND NOT JUST BY
CHINESE BUT OTHER ASIAN ANCESTRY
PEOPLE.
>> ONE THING I FOUND IS
INTERESTING IS THE WAY WE
CELEBRATE IN NEW YORK ISN'T
INDICATIVE OF EVERYBODY'S
EXPERIENCE, PARTICULARLY PEOPLE
IN CHINA.
>> EXACTLY.
NEW YORK IS VERY SPECIAL.
THE EARLIEST IMMIGRANTS FROM
CHINA REALLY CAME IN THE LATE
19th CENTURY.
THEY DIME THE U.S. TO BUILD THE
RAILROADS AND THIS YEAR IS THE
150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE
COMPLETION OF THE
TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD BUT
THEN IN THE LATE 19th CENTURY
WHEN THE RAILROAD WAS COMPLETED
THEN CHINESE DID MOVE, TOO.
SO NEW YORK CITY IS THE LARGEST
CHINATOWN AND THE MOST DENSELY
POPULATED ONE IN DOWNTOWN
MANHATTAN THAT STARTED IN THE
EARLY 1900s BUT SUBSEQUENTLY
AFTER 1965 YOU SAW OTHER
COMMUNITIES COME UP, SUNSET
PARK, FLUSHING, WHICH IS MY
NATIVE HOMETOWN AND MANY OTHERS.
SO IT'S A MERGING OF THESE
DIFFERENT CULTURES.
CHINA IS A VAST AND DIVERSE
COUNTRY AND THERE ARE MANY
PROVINCES THAT CELEBRATE THE
LUNAR NEW YEAR DIFFERENTLY.
>> THAT WAS ONE OF THE THINGS I
ALSO IS THAT THIS IS VERY MUCH I
BELIEVE A SOUTHERN THING.
THIS ISN'T LIKE -- THIS IS
CELEBRATED BIG TIME IN SOUTHERN
CHINA BUT NOT NECESSARILY IN THE
NORTHERN PROVINCES.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
>> YOU'RE RIGHT.
WITH SOME CULTURES THAT HAVE
BECOME POPULAR IN NEW YORK CITY
AND THE UNITED STATES, THE LION
DANCE, THE DRAGON DANCE, THE
CLANGING OF THE SYMBOLS, THE
DRUMS, THAT'S A PREDOMINANTLY
SOUTHERN CHINA TRADITION SO WHEN
I FIRST SAW THE LION DANCE, WHEN
MY PARENTS FIRST SAW THE LION
DANCE AND THEY WERE FROM
SHANGHAI THEY HAD NEVER SEEN A
LION DANCE BEFORE BUT THERE WERE
TRADITIONS THEY MAINTAINED.
WE ATE CERTAIN TYPES OF FOODS,
GATHERED TOGETHER AS A FAMILY SO
THOSE TRADITIONS CARRIED BUT
EVERY PROVINCE HAS ITS UNIQUE
DISTINCTIVE CELEBRATORY
COMPONENTS.
>> >> YOU TOUCHED ON ONE OF MY
FAVORITE CELEBRATORY COMPONENTS
WHICH IS FOOD.
WHAT WAS ON YOUR FAMILY'S TABLE?
>> A LOT IS AROUND HOME PHONE,
WORDS THAT SOUNDS LIKE OTHER
WORDS.
WE HAVE RICE CAKE.
AND THE WORD FOR RICE CAKE ALSO
SOUNDS FOR THE WORD "A BETTER
NEXT YEAR."
SO THERE ARE A LOT OF WORDS
AROUND THAT IN TERMS OF WHAT WE
EAT.
FISH, WE ALWAYS HAVE FISH.
A WHOLE FISH AND THAT'S
SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE.
TEN-VEGETABLE DISH WHICH IS AN
IDIOM MY ALWAYS SHARES WITH US,
10 ITEM PERFECTION.
SO WE HAVE A LOT OF COLOR ON THE
TABLE.
MY MOTHER ALWAYS SAYS LOOK HOW
BEAUTIFUL THIS DISH IS.
IT HAS RED AND GREEN.
>> THAT SOUNDS LIKE OF COURSE
YOU WANT TO HAVE THAT FOR A
FAMILY GATHERING.
BUT HOW DOES THAT DIFFER FROM
WHAT, SAY, THE AVERAGE NEW
YORKER WHO MIGHT BE GOING DOWN
TO SEE THE PARADE MIGHT PICK UP?
>> NOW IT'S GREAT BECAUSE AN
AVERAGE NEW YORKER CAN GO MANY
PLACES TO SEE THE PARADE.
IT USED TO BE PRETTY MUCH A
DOWNTOWN CHINATOWN ON CANAL
STREET ON MOTT STREET EVENT BUT
NOW SO MANY VENT DIFFERENT VIEW
YS A LION DANCE.
AND YOU MAY SEE IN THE FRONT OF
SHOPS SO SHOP OWNERS WERE SECURE
THE LION DANCE TO BRING FORTUNE
TO THEIR SHOPS IN THE COMING
YEARS SO THEY'LL GIVE THEM A
STIPEND FOR THE PERFORMANCE AND
HOPE FOR THAT BUT NOW AT THE
MUSEUM OF CHINESE IN AMERICA ON
FEBRUARY 16 WE'LL HAVE TWO LION
DANCING AND THAT'S FOR OUR
FAMILY FESTIVAL SO YOU WILL SEE
A LOT OF THAT ON THE STREETS AND
ACTIVITY ON THE STREETS AND
YOU'LL SEE A LOT OF CONFETTI ON
THE STREETS.
>> THERE'S SO MUCH MORE I CAN
CONTINUE TALKING TO YOU ABOUT
BECAUSE IT SOUNDS NOT ONLY
FASCINATING BUT LIKE A GREAT
CELEBRATION TO HAVE WHEN WE NEED
A NICE PICK ME UP.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON THE
PROGRAM.
>> THANK YOU, I'M GLAD YOU GOT
THE MEMO ON THE RED CLOTHING SO
HAPPY NEW LEW FAR NEW YEAR TO
YOU.

Funders

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