Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

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I could hear my wife on the phone but she couldn’t hear me. She is in China, Nanjing, celebrating the Chinese New Year with her family.

It was the morning of the Chinese New Year and the firecrackers were still so loud, though not continuous, that at times she couldn’t hear what I was saying.

The Chinese love their firecrackers…, , especially during the Chinese New Year.  Well, most people like them.firecracker.jpg

Beijing called upon 20,000 street sweepers to gather the debris from the firecrackers. That’s just the firecrackers. And ONLY Beijing.

What about China’s other hundred thousand cities?

Beijing alone sold 380,000 boxes of fireworks this year, up more than 50% over last year.

There was a complete lunar cycle ban on fireworks in Beijing that was lifted in 2005.

This year 125 Beijingers were injured, three seriously and one to the point his eyeballs were removed. Yup, I’d call that pretty serious.

I remember when the ban was lifted in the northern city of Harbin, maybe ten years ago. I went outside to listen to the ruckus. I was warned to not go out but was too stupid to listen.

Within moments a giant cracker went off right at my feet (thrown at me?). It was midnight so I don’t think anyone aimed at the laowai (foreigner).

Perhaps China will rethink the lifting of the ban if people cannot keep from hurting themselves AND cleaning up afterward.

What was the best experience you ever had with a firecracker?

We once dropped a cherry bomb down the gas tank of an abandoned car. That turned out to be exciting when we discovered there was still some gasoline residue in the tank.

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

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Bill Belew

Bill Belew

Daddy and Christian.

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