lundi 26 janvier 2009

To celebrate or not to

So apparently, it's Chinese New Year. And it's something I've hesitated about taking part in during the past decade. When I was younger, I went along with it and participated in some celebratory activities but I was never much enthused about it. Then, when I became a Christian, I pretty much ignored the holiday and still do to this day. It's not so much that I think there's something wrong with recognizing such an event but that I've never really had a reason to take it that seriously. I've tried hard to distance myself from any form of Chinese mythology and superstition, and especially the religious beliefs and practices that are contrary to my biblical faith, but that leaves me wondering what is left that I can celebrate. And if I want to be totally consistent with this, can I in full knowledge accept things like red envelopes?

Having never been to a Chinese church or spent much time with other Chinese people, especially Chinese Christians, I struggle with knowing how to embrace parts of my culture and how to refrain from other aspects. One of my coworkers is Chinese and she mentioned that even though her family is Christian, she always believed that her children should take part in things like Chinese New Year because they are a visible minority and will inevitably be asked about these things. I think it's a good reason but not strong enough to convince me that I need to be celebrating this holiday. At the same time, I don't want to act as though I'm shunning everything that is related to Chinese culture. It's ironic that I wrote a thesis (partly) on how Christ has come to redeem culture and yet I have the most difficult time knowing where to even start with the Chinese culture.

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