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Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations

The2017 Chinese Lunar New Year officially begin on Saturday, January 28th and this year will be the year of the fire rooster. Other fire rooster years Ihave been 1921, 1933, 1944, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993 and 2005 and the people born during those years are said to possess the characteristics of being trustworthy, loyal, responsible and timely.

On Sunday, January 29th, we attended two Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, the first one being the annual Cleveland Contemporary Chinese Cultural Association (CCCCA) and Cleveland Cultural Chinese School celebration featuring dances, songs, piano performances, martial arts demonstrations, and dramatic interpretations. It took place at Solon High School and it was good to see such old friends as Mr. Nianfa Tang and Mr. Liming Wang who worked very hard to make this day the success that it was.

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Also there was our colleague, Mr. Jury Pychowycz who was there with his wife, Lani, and his daughter, Morgan, who took part in three of the twenty-six presentations that took place. Mr. Pychowycz told us that Morgan takes classes on Friday evenings at the "Rising Star Chinese Gymnastics and Dance School" that teaches a combination of acrobatics and dance that is quite distinctive. It was founded in 2007 by Ms. Connie, Ms. Angie, and Ms. Amy Zhang three sisters who immigrated to the United States from China where they performed as professional acrobats.

All of the renditions were very colorful, very energetic and very watchable. We appreciated the fact that each one was introduced in both Chinese and English which made us feel very welcomed. In addition, since "Margaret W. Wong and Associates" was one of the sponsors, we got to briefly ascend the stage and wish all of the attendees a happy new year on Ms. Wong's behalf.

As we were leaving, we stopped to congratulate Ms. Virginia Zhang for having sung a beautiful solo. Ms. Zhang was very glad that we did because, as it turned out, Ms. Margaret W. Wong once helped her with an immigration matter. Even though this involvement took place twenty years ago, Ms. Zhang said that she will always be grateful.

Just as we were leaving Solon, a snow squall took place and for a little while we were not sure that we would make it over to the Lunar New Year Dinner put on by MotivAsians for Cleveland at the Li Wah Restaurant in Asia Plaza on Payne Avenue in Cleveland. Nevertheless, we inched along the snowy, icy streets of the snow belt stretch until we were on comparatively solid ground in the Cleveland area where we could speed up...not a lot but some.

Thus, we made it to the Dinner where we were greeted by Ms. Jennifer Luu and Ms. Rachael Yim the MotivAsians co-presidents, and were soon joined by our colleague, Mr. George Koussa who sat at a different table so that, between the two of us, we could reach out to more people.

Along these lines, we enjoyed sitting with some young people who either worked at "Ernest & Young, LLP" or were connected with someone who did. There names were Jun, Isaac, Anna, Margo, Susan, Avaneesh, Sanya, Juan, and Christina and we loved hearing about what they had accomplished in their lives so far and what their aspirations were for the future. In turn, they wanted to hear about "Margaret W. Wong and Associates" and what we did there.

Suddenly, at exactly 7:10pm, there was a sudden explosion of firecrackers followed by the loud, rapid beat of a drum and thus the Kwan Family Lion Dance Team began their performance. We have watched this dance troupe (which has been prominent for 40 years via three generations of family members) perform quite a few times in the eight years that we have lived in Cleveland but we always get a positive kick out of watching them. A few of the people at our table had never seen them before, so we explained to them the procedure of putting a small amount of money in a little red envelope along with a wish that they would like the Lion to grant.

After the dance, we checked with Ms. Luu and Ms. Yim to see if any speeches would be made before we left to head home in the hopefully no-more-than-snow flurries weather. Ms. Luu and Ms. Yim assured us that that there would be none; this evening was for people to have a good time and a good dinner, mingle, and get to know each other.

We looked up the history of MotivAsians for Cleveland on its website and read in part, "to ensure that Cleveland maintains the rich cultural diversity that exists in our community, this non-profit organization develops and implements strategies to make Greater Cleveland an attractive home for Asian-American professionals and their families, and thereby attract and retain the valuable human capital which is a critical element to the long-term vitality of this region..."

To be sure, however, MotivAsians for Cleveland is a very inclusive organization; the people who attended the celebration (and sat at our table) were of all ethnicities which contributed greatly to the evening's success.

And so we drove home....and even though an accident occurred the freeway off-ramp where we exited...we made it home without so much as a skid. After all, that was our wish to the Lion...and in his benevolence, he decided to grant it to us.

By:

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.

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