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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.


Celebrating the Festival

Yesterday I wrote 17 Traditions to Observe the Chinese Spring New Year.

Is there anything that should NOT be done?

Indeed there is.

In the past the Chinese did not have great quantities of meat, fish, booze and such. The holiday season, particularly the Spring New Year was a time to splurge, to enjoy the kind of treat that one could not during other times of the year.

When splurging is the norm as it is in many parts of China now, the holidays become a time of overindulgence, gluttony and drunkenness.

How about:

1. Not drinking too much. In China, the New Year’s feast is not complete without liquor or wine. It’s part of the occasion. Finding oneself in a drunken stupor is not. And, how many Chinese have learned to drive in the past few years alone?

2. Not eating too much. Don’t do as we do in the West. Turkeys are not the only thing that gets stuffed during holiday meals. It is not unusual for men and women across the US to diet for 10 months so they can eat like pigs for two. There’s a reason why dieting is a multi-billion dollar industry. If China wants to develop a new industry, ignore this caution.

3. Not lighting others’ fires. Fireworks were banned for many years throughout China. Not any more. I was in Harbin the first New Year’s holiday after they were lifted. I went outside to enjoy the rumbling, sparking, clattering and booming. Yikes! Right at my feet. Sounded loud enough to be a cherry bomb. Remember those? Be careful out there.

The solution – Moderation. Self-control. Consideration.

Holidays are a time to have fun. Being stupid is not fun.

Extreme joy begets great sorrow, the Chinese say.

Hopefully nobody you know will be saying it this year.


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

Bill Belew

Daddy and Christian.

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