Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Moon Sees Me

Today is Moon Festival for much of Asia including China as well as for many folks of Chinese heritage all over the world.

I see from my Facebook that my fellow Families with Children From China are all doing some sort of Moony things; eating mooncakes, going out for moon-viewing, all the good stuff. Even Pobaby gets into the moon in mid-autumn.

Well, we might go look at the moon, providing the clouds hold off. But we ain't eating no goddamn mooncakes until someone comes up with one that tastes like something other than raw bean curd dough. Bleh.

My favorite Moon Festival story took place when we were in Guangzhou in process of adopting Missy. I told it six years ago but it's worth repeating.

On one of our many, many trips downtown Guangzhou to see our pals at the police station we got to talking with our agency guide, the sharp young woman who was Rob the Yob's stand-in.

"So, what's the deal with Moon Festival?" we asked her. "Oh, it's a big family holiday, all families get together and have a big meal and party." she explained. Mojo and I looked at each other.

"Lemme ask you something...are you married?" She admitted that she wasn't.

"When you go home for Moon Festival, do your mom and grandma give you a hard time about not having a man, getting too old, and not giving them grandkids?" Yep, she said, all the time.

"Does your Dad and your uncles drink too much, argue and watch sports on TV?" She said that they usually did.

"Do the kids make noise, raise hell and throw food, and does one of the auntie's kids throw a huge tantrum and/or get sick?" She agreed that was what usually happened.

"And do all the grown-up kids hang out in the back yard, smoking, and complain about having to travel to do this every year?" She just smiled and nodded. Mojo and I smiled back, looked at each other and laughingly explained that we had the exact same holiday in America only in late autumn and instead of the moon we used a made-up story about our native tribes and a bunch of white religious nuts who turned up in a boat, took the land, and eventually killed off all the natives - "Thanksgiving", we called it.

She totally didn't get it.

But she saw the similarity between the two holidays.

Regardless of what you do today, I hope the Moon Rabbit is bringing you and yours a lovely Mid-Autumn Moon Festival!


Leon said...

Yeah, I prefer turkey over Moon Cakes. Not sure why the damn thing's popular. I think simply giving out the damn things are part of the tradition. Much like your Caucasian preference for fruit cakes, seriously who eats that stuff?

Anonymous said...

Hey Jim, Happy Moon Festival. I too, don't care much for the mooncakes but here in Taiwan It's more like 4th of July. BBQ and fireworks. The BBQ is good though the Taiwanese cooks LOADS of small tidbits for hours on end and the fire works are not one big glorious show but an annoying hours long pop pop pop of bottle rockets. Traumatized my poor cat. Cheers, James