2019-05-07 16:49:01 source: 《文化交流》；金丹丹
Jason Gives Away Spring Festival Blessing in Indianapolis and Beyond
Jason is an American living in Hangzhou now. In January 2019, he participated in an international program sponsored by Hangzhou. Internationals living in Hangzhou went back to their home countries to give away 福 printed in golden color on a red piece of paper, which is a traditional Chinese New Year blessing posted on the door of almost all Chinese homes. In Chinese 福, pronounced as fu, refers to happiness, good luck, fortune, safety, health, good job, family harmony.
Jason is from Indianapolis, an American city. He went home with his Chinese wife and kid in January and came back in March. On the morning of March 14, I had a chat with Jason and his wife, just back in Hangzhou, to find out how they shared 福 with people in Indianapolis.
Born in 1986, Jason loves Hangzhou. He has lived in Hangzhou for about 6 years since he came to the city in the winter of 2012. He speaks Chinese fluently. He first learned about Hangzhou while taking part in a cultural exchange program in rural Sichuan in southwestern China. What he heard was, “In heaven there is paradise and on earth Suzhou and Hangzhou”, a popular saying in Chinese culture. He visited Hangzhou and stayed in a hotel in the scenic West Lake area near a zoo. He remembers seeing the scenic West Lake on his way to the airport and wowing at the beauty of the lake. He decided to come to work in Hangzhou. He found a job for teaching English in Hangzhou, met a girl named Chen Lin and married her. Now they have a child.
Before the Spring Festival this year, he visited Hangzhou Library. After finding there were a few shelves full of books from Indianapolis, he learned to his surprise and joy that Indianapolis and Hangzhou are sister cities. That partly explains his enthusiasm in taking part in the program. He regarded the assignment as a mission.
Jason, Chen Lin and their child reached Indianapolis on February 1. On February 4, the eve of the traditional Chinese New Year, they started giving away the 福 pieces to friends, relatives and neighbors. These people liked the 福 pieces very much. Some of them immediately put one on their doors. Jason also presented some 福 pieces to the offices of Indianapolis government, saying this was a greeting from Hangzhou. Fu pieces were also distributed to the police department, the fire brigade, supermarkets, restaurants and primary schools in Indianapolis.
To their joy, Jason and his wife found that local residents in Indianapolis take a strong interest in Chinese culture. For example, they met two native boys from a family. The two were learning Chinese at an international school in Indianapolis. They had Chinese names and they were able to speak Chinese fluently. The two school children showed the couple their Chinese homework. Their handwritings looked perfect.
Jason drove ten hours with his sister and a friend all the way to Washington. They gave away 福 pieces at some tourist attractions. Their interaction with local residents and tourists were videotaped.
“It took us about a month to distribute nearly 100 福 pieces. To our own surprise, 福 reached so far out! ” says Jason. As a cultural envoy, Jason feels proud that he did something to bring the people of the two cities closer with more knowledge of each other.
Jason plans to continue his cultural exchange engagement this year. He will upload some video clips to his WeChat account, video clips with English voiceover so that children in Hangzhou and beyond can learn more about Hangzhou. “After we are done with Hangzhou project, we are going to travel around China and make more videos so that local cultures can be broadcast to the world,” says Jason.
(Executive Editor: Liu Liu)