Why are so many Chinese
restaurants decorated in firecracker red and imperial
an ideal hostess gift when accepting a traditional Chinese
invitation? Should the lucky money inside a red envelope
be spent or saved? The answers to these and many other
questions can be found in Good Luck Life, The Essential
Guide to Chinese
American Celebrations and Culture, by Rosemary Gong (HarperResource;
February 1, 2005; $14.95), available just in time for the
start of Chinese New Year on February 9.
“I noticed a growing
curiosity and thirst for things Chinese as mainstream
America is entering and embracing the Chinese culture through intermarriage
and adoption,” says Rosemary Gong. It is projected that 10% of the U.S.
population will hold Asian ancestry by mid-century, yet many of the third,
fourth and future
generations do not fully understand the traditions surrounding the Chinese
festivals and celebrations of life’s milestones.
Good Luck Life is a
culmination of Gong’s efforts to acquaint herself with
her cultural heritage after practicing and observing Chinese celebrations
while growing up Chinese in America. It details historical facts, legends,
and celebratory foods. Once befuddled herself, Rosemary has compiled an easy-to-read,
practical “how-to” and “why” cultural guide. From
Dragon Boat Races to the Hungry Ghosts Feast, the Chinese wedding to the
Red Egg and
Ginger party for a newborn, this is the all-in-one guide for anyone—Chinese
or otherwise—who is interested in learning more about this fascinating
and complex culture.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rosemary Gong was born and raised in California. She
and her family were the only Asians in their Central
Valley town, school, and church. A graduate of
San Jose State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications,
she moved to San Francisco to join Saatchi and Saatchi Corporate Communications
Chinatown was her choice of residence - just around the corner from her immigrant
grandparents. There, she developed an affinity for the places and the customs
inherent in her culture.