Happy Chinese New Year 2015! I am honored to acknowledge my Chinese ancestors who migrated from China to Trinidad and Guyana in the British West Indies as indentured workers. After the abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, workers from China and India were engaged to replace the enslaved Africans. To learn more about this hidden Caribbean and Asian history, I recommend two amazing texts: Indentured Labor, Caribbean Sugar: Chinese and Indian Migrants to the British West Indies, 1838-1918 by Walton Look Lai, (John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1993); and The Coolie Speaks: Chinese Indentured Laborers and African Slaves in Cuba, by Lisa Yun, (Temple University Press,2008).
My Chinese Trinidadian maternal grandmother taught me many of her traditions — from Buddhism, cooking, gardening, palmistry, face reading also known as physiognomy to astrology. I was born in the year of the Dragon, considered the most powerful and lucky signs in the zodiac. I learned from an early age about all of the Chinese astrological animals.
This is the year of the Goat. Celebrate if your birth year is listed here: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, or 2015. Your lucky colors are brown, red and purple. Lucky numbers are 2 and 7. Your lucky flowers are carnations and primrose. In Chinese astrology, goats are very different from Western Capricorn goats. Chinese goats are delicate thinkers, creative and love team activities. To learn more, click here.
Although it’s not a national holiday, New Yorkers will celebrate big time with a parade in NYC Chinatown, Sunday, February 22, 1-3pm. Please join me!
How do you celebrate Chinese New Years?