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Year of the Woof Woof


Let's get one thing straight: I'm quite the banana.

Meaning I'm Chinese, but since I was born here, I'm basically white.
That said, my family has never traditionally celebrated Chinese New Year. We acknowledge it, but it's never a big hoopla the way I know some families make out of it.

So this weekend, I attended the Toronto Celebrates Lunar New Year festival at the Ex, and realized it's a place for people like me -- a backup for people who don't have families who throw big boistrous parties.

First off, when did Chinese New Year become "Asian New Year?"

It makes sense that China, Korea, Vietnam and Singapore all celebrate the beginning of the Lunar New Year. But traditionally it's previously known as Chinese. I don't know. It makes me think we're being PC about things again (i.e. "holiday tree.")

In Chinese astrology, the dog is the most likable, honest and straightforward of all animals. Its influence is expected to bring a year of justice and harmony.

The food court didn't have Chinese food! What's up with that? Several booths, but not a scrap of fried rice in sight. But there was plenty of pizza and hot dogs for some reason. The booths were nice, but I recall there were more food products and woks for sale two years ago. Is the business community dwindling? I should note though, there was an abundance in new-age high-tech toilets and toilet seats.

The best part of the event if you still are able to make it, is the traditional lion/dragon dance and the Wushu performances. Those guys have grace and energy to boot to the banging of gongs and drums.

The act that killed that buzz was a family of magicians. The guy looked like David Lee Roth in a kimono and did some really bad tricks a la David Copperfield.

Overall, the event was all right, but it would've been nice to see more Chinese-oriented acts. Maybe a soap opera in costumes like the ones my grandma watches on TV...traditional, but keeps the energy going. Or maybe I just need to find a family who celebrates in vats of BBQ pork, soy sauce chicken and choy-sum.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Toronto Celebrates Lunar New Year 2006 runs until 7 p.m. tonight at the Automotive Building at Exhibition Place. Adults $10, seniors and children $8.50 and kids under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult.


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