Hungry Ghosts

Halloween is absolutely my most favorite holiday ever { even though some will dispute that it is not a holiday at all }, I love everything about it....from decorations, costumes, candy, spirits and of course the history behind it. This year is the first year that I am not going to be able to do too much, so I thought I'd pacify myself with some good old fashioned ghost stories and also read about the Chinese traditions for the "holiday" as well.

My favorite site that I found in my travels is called Lost Laowai , it's actually a blog that I will continue to follow after Halloween is over. I really enjoyed their Chinese Halloween Vocab and learned some great things to teach the kids in the upcoming years! Some words of note {the pīnyīn versions } :
  • wànshèngjié kuàilè // Happy Halloween
  • guǐjì huòzhě tángguǒ // trick or treat
  • xīxiěguǐ //vampire
  • guǐgùshì //ghost story
  • hēimāo //black cat
*if you would like to see the full list, go here: http://www.lostlaowai.com/chinese-halloween-vocab

The two Halloween festivals celebrated in China are Teng Chieh and Yue Lan { or The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts}, although Halloween itself is more like a money making and party throwing event there rather then a true recognized Holiday. The Yue Lan festival is celebrated a few weeks before Halloween and it is tradition to not only have picnics at the graves of loved ones lost, but also to burn paper versions of items they used when they were living, and also gifts from today that they may have liked {even ipods? }. Teng Cheih is a bit similar, as it involves the spirits of our loved ones. Instead of going to their grave, they place food and water infront of their photos as well as lighting bonfires and lanterns to light the way for the spirits to find their way back to earth. Nury Vittachi , a cultural commentator in Hong Kong, is quoted as saying,

Ghosts are very big in Asian culture and there is a deeper understanding and interest in their place in society. You can have a relationship with them, you can make friends with them. In the West, ghosts are nearly always bad things, but here they are on your side.

Websites of reference

Also, during my search I found a few notable sites for Halloween as well

One of my own Halloween traditions that I am able to follow this year will be watching The Crow, probably one of the best movies I have ever seen! I have always and forever been a fan of Brandon Lee and I blame him for planting the seed for my love of all things asian :) The Crow was actually filmed in my hometown of Wilmington, NC, and Brandon tragically died there as well { in the same hospital I was born infact!}.

I will leave you a classic ghost story that has been retold a million times through the years called Late Night Ride, Happy Halloween everyone!

Late Night Ride

Jerry was driving home late one night when he saw a young lady waiting by a bus stop. He stopped his car and told her that he didn't think the buses were running so late at night and offered her a ride. The fall night air was getting chilly, so he took off his jacket and gave it to her. Jerry found out that the girl's name was Mary and she was on her way home.

After an hours drive, they arrived at her home and he dropped her off by the front door. Jerry said goodnight and went home himself.

The next day he remembered that Mary still had his jacket.

He drove to her house and knocked on the door, an old woman answered.
John told her about the ride he had given her daughter Mary, and had come back to get the jacket he had lent her. The old woman looked very confused.

John noticed a picture of Mary on the fireplace mantel. He pointed to it and told the old woman that that was the girl he had given a ride to.

With her voice shaking, the old woman told Jerry that her daughter had been dead for many years and was buried in a cemetery about an hours drive away from there.
Jerry ran to his car and drove to the cemetery....

He found his jacket, neatly folded on top of a grave...the name on the gravestone was Mary!


hapa pake

A fellow twin mommy {who lives in Hawaii} told me about the Gosselin kids wearing Hapa tees last week on Jon & Kate...of course the one episode I forget to watch, right? It reminded me of the whole Hapa controversy that is going on out there. So I have been surfing the web trying to figure out what the real deal is since my children have been referred to as Hapa on several occasions.

Here is what Wiki says about Hapa:

"Hapa" is a Hawaiian term used to describe a person of mixed Asian or Pacific Islander racial/ethnic heritage


In the Hawaiian language, hapa is defined as: portion, fragment, part, fraction, installment; to be partial, less. It is a loan from the English word half. However, in Hawaiian Pidgin (the creole spoken by many Hawai'i residents), hapa has an extended meaning of "half-caste" or "of mixed descent". Mary Pukui & Samuel Ebert's Hawaiian Dictionary define hapa as: "of mixed blood, person of mixed blood as in hapa hawai'i, part Hawaiian." [See: Pukui, Mary Kawena, and Samuel H. Ebert, Hawaiian Dictionary, Revised and enlarged edition, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu HI, 1986] The word "hapa" has moved into Hawaiian and mainland English via reborrowing.

Used without qualification, hapa is often taken to mean "part white", and is short hand for hapa haole. The term can be used in conjunction with other Hawaiian racial and ethnic descriptors to specify a particular racial or ethnic mixture.

Then it goes on to list several examples of what is considered to be "Hapa", part chinese is refered to as hapa pake . After reading this one would think that calling their child who is half asian and not half pacific islander is OK, but then I found this site called RealHapas.com , here is what part of her intro says:

Around 2002, I noticed that many people of mixed Asian descent were disrespecting Hawaiians and part of our culture by misusing and misappropriating the Hawaiian word "hapa." It became evident at Alvin Soltis' www.Hapas.com that there was an assault and an attack on part of our Hawaiian culture, a culture that I would hope is respected like other cultures are. I noticed this elsewhere online. It became my personal mission to ensure that I do what I can to protect this gift that our kupuna gave to us which future Hawaiian children should be able to have as well. This is one of many ways that I use to protect this gift as well as other gifts from our kupuna such as the iwi (or "bones") that all Hawaiians share.

As someone of English, Chinese, Hawaiian, and Portuguese descent I was shocked that so many mixed Asians were unknowingly and/or unwittingly disrespecting the Hawaiian culture... thus disrespecting its people...

So, I am more confused as ever, I mean... do think that she might be taking the angry hapa thing a little too far ? I am neither of asian or pacific islander descent... so maybe if I were I would feel the same? Probably not , just because I tend to be a laid back person, but I'd love to hear what others think ...if you have an opinion about Hapa's that is? If so, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!


♪ jingle bells ♫

We are so excited that Bella's jingle anklet FINALLY fits her!
{the pic on right is Bella's chubby little foot, hehe}
We have been trying it on every month and we almost gave up...guess she had a growth spurt. Oma, {my mother in-law Lani} got both Bella and Brayden these gold jingle anklets when they were born...it's an asian tradition that she has followed since she had her own kids. Sadly, Bella will not be able to wear it for long, but we will enjoy it for now as she runs around with it on. I think Brayden loves to chase it more then anything since it makes a noise when
she walks. It will still be a little while before he can wear his own since he is so tiny :) I did look up the purpose of these anklets on google {of course} and this is what one website says:

A centuries old tradition stands behind these darling jingle anklets.... For thousands of years Asian mothers have adorned the feet of their babies with these anklets that have small bells attached to them. Traditionally, it is believed that the delicate jingling sounds would protect young children by warding off bad spirits. They also served a safety functional purpose by providing auditory clues to their children's movements, activity, and whereabouts.

Whatever the purpose, they are freaking ADORABLE! I might even be able to get a little video clip of her walking around with it on so you can hear it.. we will see how our day goes tomorrow!


Sushi Luv

Yesterday we went for lunch at a really great sushi place called Sushi Ave ...really delicious food, atmosphere could use some work, but it's also probably not meant for people like us with a herd of babies {ok, 2 babies, but it feels like so much more!lol}. I got two of the Las Vegas Roll which consists of salmon, crab, cream cheese and avocado...and it's tempura fried *drool*. I know it's probably not the healthiest choice but it's ohhhhhh so good :) The twins were totally fascinated by the bright red chopsticks, which of course made me google baby chopsticks when I got home. Now this is totally unpractical for their age, but one thing you have to understand about me is that I am a research junkie. So, while my intentions are not to purchase them right now, I have to know where to find them when I do want to buy them in the future....this is a very self annoying quality of mine, but I have learned to live with it :)
During my googling I came across this really fun wooden play sushi set at a place called Oliebollen . If you have children, or are looking for some great gifts ideas for one, you should check out their website.They have some very original kids toys you'll never find at stores, and the prices are very reasonable as well. I will definitely be ordering the sushi set for their birthday next year!