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Archive for March, 2011

Ni Hao!

With Easter coming up soon, some adoptive parents wonder how important the holiday is to their children from China. Popular to contrary belief, the Easter holiday is also celebrated in China. Even beyond the religious implications, Easter has many significances in the Chinese culture. Easter in China symbolizes the conclusion of winter and the magnificent rebirth of spring.

The three most common symbols that are associated with Easter in the West are:  the Easter egg, rabbits, and baby chicks and all hold significance in Chinese culture as well.  In one of the creation stories from ancient China, the world was created from an egg of chaos.  Rabbits and chicks can be seen in many pieces of art, often there to symbolize life and birth.

To wish someone a “Happy Easter” in Chinese, say:  fu huo jie kuai le. Literally translated it means “happy festival for the sign life”.

AJ Panda has the perfect goodies for any Easter basket. Use our Easter Gift Guide to help you select the perfect items to put in Easter baskets for children of any age. You can start with any of our Asian dolls and browse through our toy collection that includes gifts like Chinese noise makers and 3D puzzles. For older children, we have Chinese journals and a large selection or Chinese character and jade jewelry.

Fu huo jie kuai le to you and your family this Easter season!

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I couldn’t let another week go by without a call out to the Golden Dragon Acrobats from China. I went to their performance last weekend at the Touhill Performing Arts Center in St. Louis. They were amazing!

Their performance ranged from incredible displays of strength, flexibility, grace, and power. All of it is performed with cultural backdrop of Chinese tradition. My five-year old daughters were mesmerized, as was I. It’s a show I would definitely recommend.

 

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It was another great party in St Louis for the Chinese New Year. As in previous years, the FCC did a wonderful job organizing the venue (Maryland Heights Center), food and entertainment. It is an amazing experience to be around so many families sharing the same passions for Chinese culture. And best of all, it’s great to see all these beautiful children coming together to bond and connect. I know my daughters, for example, are impacted by the many peers who not only share their appearance, but also a similar history. When we leave the party, they always have a bit more spring in their steps.

This year the entertainment was a local acrobatic troupe based from the St. Louis City Museum, as well as puppet show put on by the Confucius Institute of St. Louis. The girls seemed to enjoy both performances, and especially the crafts that allowed them to get hands-on with celebrating the Chinese New Year.

Lastly, it was nice to walk around the silent auction and see the assortment of baskets. There were lots of interesting options and items to celebrate Chinese culture, and I even saw many of the items AJ Panda donated to the party. Unfortunately, however, I didn’t win any of the bids! Next year I suppose I’ll have to make bigger bids!

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In the United States, tea drinking is much more casual than in Chinese culture. Here we drink it iced, flavored, sweetened, made from an instant mix and out of vending machines. The practice of drinking tea actually originated in China where the first tea leaf was found in the southwestern region thousands of years ago. Wild tea trees 2,700 years old can still be found there! Tea is drunk in China every day to symbolize good health and for simple pleasure, but there are also several special circumstances when it is custom to prepare and serve tea. It is hard to imagine that the Chinese have been observing these customs for thousands of years!

  • As a sign of respect – The younger generation shows respect to their elders by offering a cup of tea.
  • At family gatherings
  • To apologize – Pouring tea to the one you wronged is sign of regret and submission.
  • In the traditional Chinese marriage ceremony – The bride and groom serve tea to their parents and say thank you for raising them. Tea is always served when introducing large, extended families at wedding ceremonies. Drinking the tea symbolizes acceptance into the family.

Whatever the occasion for drinking tea, don’t forget to do the “thanks” knock! To show gratitude to the one who poured you the tea, tap your bended index or middle finger on the table.

At AJ Panda, we strive to offer our customers the most authentic and unique Chinese teapots and tea sets. We offer yixing teapots, cast iron teapots, porcelain teapots, tea cups and other Chinese tea accessories. Whatever your tea drinking rituals are, we hope we offer a set that suits your needs and tastes!

 

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