Sunday, February 13, 2011

ADVENTURES IN MULTICULTURAL LIVING Working off different calendars. Is it Lunar New Year's or Valentine's?

My girlfriend Nina once complained when she had to have dinner with some university bigwig…on Valentine’s Day. She was indignant, incensed. It was Valentine’s Day, for goodness sake. I barely even registered her complaint, my mind completely overwhelmed by my overload of Chinese New Year’s events. I thought it might be nice to have dinner with that particular university bigwig, and I gave her a message to relay. I could not understand why she stomped off in a huff.

We were working off different calendars, I suppose.

Last year, I attended a Chinese New Year’s event on the first Sunday in February. About halfway through the evening, Little Brother, then 6, and all the high school boys he had been following, disappeared. I found them all down the hall at the information desk, watching the Super Bowl together, Little Brother’s feet swinging back and forth. I laughed to myself at the realization that this big event was scheduled on the day of the Super Bowl because no one on the organization committee — likely all immigrants who did not grow up watching football — either knew or thought it was important (No wonder so many of the non-Asian dignitaries and special guests had to leave early for “previous engagements”).

Interesting how we learn about each other through the differences in our calendars.

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