By incredible fortune we were lucky enough to have Sarah, Gary, Stella and Mira with us over Chinese New Year. Sarah was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, her father is Chinese and her mother Australian (her parents met in Sydney, when he was sent to Australia as the first Malaysian to do a diving clearance course), so Chinese New Year is very much part of her culture. She spent the first years of her life travelling around Singapore and Malaysia before moving to Australia when she was 16.
Sarah and I met at the inner west Attachment Parenting group when Poe and Stella were just babes in slings, besides connecting on a parenting level we also bonded over our shared Malaysian background (my mother is Malay Indian and my father Australian, for those viewers out there who don't know), this meant we have a deep understanding and passion for, well namely the food, oh my goodness Malaysian food, the topic that can have Malaysians (or anyone with any Malaysian ties, or anyone who has even been to Malaysia) deeply engrossed for hours.
And then today we had a very special tea ceremony, called where the children serve the adults tea wishing them Kung Hee Fatt Choy, a long life and prosperity and then the adults wish the children a good year at school and give the children a red packet (with a little money in it). All the kids loved the ceremony and all approached it with a wonderful sense of awe and delight.
It really made me realise (again) how wonderful rituals like this are, I guess especially (for me) on a cultural level, it made me want to know more about rituals that my mother experienced as she was growing up and to introduce more of these into our home.
nb. The slip-and-slide is neither a tradition (well, maybe at Christmas time for us) nor a ritual but was a very impromptu event, we were heading to the river, the kids were in swimmers, the bags packed and then it rained (it has been doing that a lot lately, so much so that it looks like tomorrow could possibly hold a ...... FLOOD post, but let's not count those chickens just yet). It was such a delight to watch and from what I hear even more fun to do.