Chinese New Year in Nashville
There is not much going on in Nashville with respects to celebrating Chinese New Year like there is in China (of course), and state-side, New York, Boston and Los Angeles. But, there is one small group of people promoting and celebrating Chinese New Year - The Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville (CAAN).
Every year, I really like going to this event because it is the only event in Nashville, that I know of, that celebrates the Lunar New Year, Chinese New Year. It is something that is important to me to remind me of my ethnicity and heritage. As always, CAAN sponsored the Lion Dance team, and I love the lion!
Also this year, CAAN sponsored a fashion show of traditional garb from 6 regions of China. It was surprising to me to see some of the traditional clothing, such as the one pictured above. The one above must be from Western China where there may be more of a Persian influence. There was another outfit that was more traditionally Chinese in the way I think of Chinese, there was another one that was more like a modern sari, and yet another that reminded me of a traditional Korean woman's dress. I really enjoyed the traditional fashion show because it showed there is a continuum of people in China, and China isn't just one big singular country with only one type of person and dress.
The dinner was the highlight of the evening. It included an 8 course meal prepared by Wild Ginger Restaurant in Franklin. The best part is that there were 3 vegetarians at my table, and the restaurant did very well catering to their dietary needs because the regular menu is so meat heavy, and that just would not do for them.
The 8 courses on the menu were 1. beef, lop chung and egg drop soup, 2. a trio app, 3. flounder and scallops, 4. deep fried prawn in the shell, 5. stuffed eggplant with black beans sauce, 6. baby bok choy and shitake with oyster sauce, 7. egg noodles with veggies and a brown meat gravy, and 8. sweet joy luck tapioca soup.
But, this event isn't really about the lion dance, the fashion show or the food really. It is just the vehicle for me to have a meal, break bread, and celebrate one day that means a lot to me, and be surrounded by friends who "get it". Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year is one day of family celebration that means a lot to at least 1/4 of the world's population, including me. It is about friends, family, and sharing food to make sure your fellow human is taken care of. It is a celebration of wishing well to your loved ones. I loved that I got spend the evening with 4 of my closest friends here in Nashville. Thanks buddies for making Chinese New Year special for me.