Chinese Traditions In An Armenian Context
It has been 4 years that the family of Lee has lived in Armenia. The spouses teach Chinese language at The “Confucius” center and at the public school named after Chekhov in Yerevan. Living thousands of kilometers far away from their homeland, they are trying to preserve their national traditions in the Armenian environment both by preparing special meals and celebrating holidays.
Chu Yan, the daughter of Lees, whom the family calls Tong-Tong (the Chinese call their child by a different name at home) goes to the Russian section of Chekhov school. She speaks Armenian, Russian, Chinese and English. As my children are course mates with Tong-Tong and there are close relations between our families, we had a unique chance to be at their place and taste some traditional Chinese New Year meals.
On the first day of the lunisolar calendar, the Chinese celebrate the lantern festival. This is a family holiday and special rice balls are prepared with a sweet pulp. Also the red lanterns are released into the air, making a wish beforehand. Usually after releasing the lanterns into the air, the family gathers at home for tasting the special meal. Unfortunately the Chinese living in Armenia don’t have opportunity to buy the necessary raw products for it.
This is one of the most favorite holidays of children. Many different events are organized in China for them on this day.
This August, the Lee family will leave for Peking, China as their working contract will be over.