News / USA

California Event Brings Lunar New Year Festivities to Chinese Diaspora

California Event Brings Lunar New Year Festivities to Chinese Diasporai
X
January 21, 2014 4:16 PM
Many Asians around the world are preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year. This year, the year of the horse, begins on the last day of January. Many Asian Americans say celebrating the Lunar New Year in the United States is very different from what it’s like in Asia. One decades-long custom in the Los Angeles, California area is going to the Asian American Expo. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Pomona, California.
California Event Brings Lunar New Year Festivities to Chinese Diaspora
Elizabeth Lee
Many Asians around the world are preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year.  This year, the year of the horse, begins on the last day of January.  Many Asian Americans say celebrating the Lunar New Year in the United States is very different from what it’s like in Asia.  One tradition in the Los Angeles, California area is going to the Asian American Expo.  

From the music, to traditional foods from throughout Asia, to the sea of Asian faces, this event could be anywhere in Asia.  But the Asian American Expo is fewer than 50 kilometers east of Los Angeles.  It is a place where tens of thousands of people, mainly from the Chinese Diaspora, come as a part of their Lunar New Year Celebration.  

“It made our New Year feel so much better,” said Julien Tan who is from Malaysia.

Lily He feels the same way.  She said attending the event feels more like a New Year celebration in China, although it is not as good as the celebrations back home.

He remembers Lunar New Year celebrations in China where everyone would be on vacation for weeks.  But in the United States she has to work, so the most she can do is go to her mother’s home for a holiday meal.

Originally from Taiwan, Alex Hong said in the United States, he celebrates the western New Year, not the Lunar New Year.

The Asian American Expo is trying to change that by scheduling the annual event around the Lunar New Year and by bringing a more festive feel to the Chinese Diaspora, according to event Operations Director, Gorden Kao.

“Overseas, New Year is a really big event, they bring out the firecrackers - everything - family, food and everything.  In the local market, even though there are lot of Chinese immigrants, they do not really do much to celebrate.  That is why we are putting on an event where we pretty much bring everything together to get all this done,” Kao said. 

The Asian American Expo originally started 33 years ago to bring local businesses together.  But it has evolved into an event where consumers can come and see new products from China and Taiwan.

“These are all products that you probably would not find even around here, in the United States,” added Kao.

But many people come for a taste of the old favorites from back home, like a lion dance and some stinky tofu.  They are also here to share old cultural traditions in a new land with the next generation.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs