This Friday: Happy Lunar New Year 2014, Year of the Horse!

Happy Lunar New Year!

I want to wish everyone a Happy Lunar New Year, coming from an Asian background, I wish to accept my culture and enjoy the weekend celebration.horseyear

Every year of the Chinese lunar calendar, one of 12 animal symbols of the Chinese zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar are represented. This year is the year of the Horse (馬 午), if you’re born on these years: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918, 1906— it’s your year. I’m told that the horse year is a year of improving oneself, those who are the year of the horse are bright, warm-hearted, intelligent, and energetic.

disneylandlunarAt Disneyland, the Happy Lunar New Year Celebration begins January 31 – February 2, at Disney California Adventure park from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. There will be a Chinese dragon dance troupe, lion dancers and Vietnamese and Korean dance groups will join Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Mulan and Mushu in Paradise Garden for the celebration.

Chinese Mandarin: 新年快乐 (xin nian kuai le) / 新年好 (xin nian hao)

Chinese Cantonese: sun lin fi lok / kung hé fat tsoi

Indonesian: selamat tahun baru

Korean: 새해 복 많이 받으세요 (seh heh bok mani bat uh seyo)

Vietnamese: Chúc Mừng Nǎm Mới / Cung Chúc Tân Niên / Cung Chúc Tân Xuân

Japanese: あけまして おめでとう ございます (akemashite omedetô gozaimasu)

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Last Lunar New Year Day 2013

On February 11th, 2013 my boyfriend, his sister, her husband, with their baby, and I went to Disney California Adventure (DCA) and Disneyland, I had work so we didn’t reach Disneyland till 3:30pm. I dragged them over to DCA because I knew they had the Lunar New Year celebration going on and that’s my culture! So we were able to catch a bit of the Disney “Limited Time Magic” experience for the Lunar New Year celebration.

Lunar New Year 2013 at DCA next to the Little Mermaid ride.

In the Lunar New Year section there were vendors selling specialty Asian foods, and free Chinese calligraphy.

Free Chinese Calligraphy

I shared my love for these Chinese pork buns and almond cookies with them, they were a lot more open-minded to try it and experience them, which just made me very happy.

Pork Bao (steamed bun with pork meat inside) with some homemade almond cookies.

These are steamed buns with an inside of pork meat sometimes BBQ pork, wrapped in a layer of a white soft bread, there is a bit of a thin layer of glossiness to it.

This just takes me back to my Grandma peeling off the outside layer before eating the bun, because back in Indonesia, the steamed buns were sold in vendor carts and they weren’t always the most sanitary of places to make food, so peeling off the outside layer ensured that all the germs and the handling of food on the outside part was thrown away.

Thanks for celebrating Lunar New Year 2013 with me!!

Gong Xi Fa Cai.

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Oliver & Company Stirs City Sentiments

Oliver & Company Stirs City Sentiments

by Jenny Chan

The popular Disney movie “Oliver and Company inspired by Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” depicts a homeless kitten named Oliver, roaming the streets of New York, where he is taken in by a gang of homeless dogs who survive by stealing from others for their master, Fagin. The setting of Disney’s “Oliver and Company” is in New York City during the 1980’s, the hustle and bustle of vehicles in the streets shows the busy life in the city. “Oliver and Company” shows the ambivalence of New York City in a negative and positive light, the negative of the pickpockets like Fagin who uses Oliver for money and loan sharks like Sykes who ends up kidnapping Jenny Foxworth for ransom, but the positive of kind hearted people like Jenny and her family who take in Oliver and the positive vision of wealth status that they hold. The famous song “Why Should I Worry” performed by Billy Joel depicts the big city life. The lyrics are:

“One minute I’m in Central Park

Then I’m down on Delancey Street

From the Bowery to St. Marks

There’s a syncopated Beat

I’m streetwise

I can improvise

I’m street-smart

I’ve got New York City heart


The Rhythm of the City

Once you get it down

You can own this town

You can wear the crown

Why should I worry?

Why should I care?

And even when I cross that line

I got street savoir-faire”

The lyrics emphasize a care free life in the city, and the freedom to do what one wants to do or be where they want to be. The second set of lyrics from above shows pride in living in New York City, with a “New York City heart”. The third set of lyrics emphasis the getting use to city life and how it can be hard, but once city life is accepted by the individual, there may be many opportunities that the city life can hold for that person.