Lee Siu Hin : Journey to My Home--Happy Spring Festival (A.K.A. Chinese New Year) of 2012 Dragon from China!
Greeting from Shanghai, China! Middle of my China-US solidarity working for building bi-national activist solidarity movement.
January 23rd marks the Chinese Spring Festival (A.K.A. Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year)--the year of Dragon.
I wishes you a happy new year and lots of love, joy and happiness!
The Spring Festival is the most important holiday celebration in China, also commonly celebrated in many east-Asian countries. Unlike many western and middle eastern countries where holidays are religious-based celebrations (like Easter, Christmas, Ramadan, etc.) Almost all Chinese holidays are cultural/historical or agricultural calendar-based celebrations.
Spring Festival (correct way to call Chinese New Year) marks the beginning of the Spring in Lunar Calendar year, it mark the end of the old year and beginning the new year to prepare Spring farming. Just like Christmas celebration, people travel aboard will be coming back their home to celebrate with their families.
I travel to my parents' home in Tianjin, China to visit my father in the hospital, and celebrate with my mother & other family members for a big festival meal.
Beside a family dinner, hundreds of Millions of people will be watching 4-hours long CCTV-1's 春晚 (chun wan), aka the "CCTV New Year's Gala" in front of the TV together counting down to new year (http://www.globaltimes.cn/opinion/commentary/2010-02/505126.html). During the New Year holiday, family members and friends will be going to new New Year temple fair across China.
(Hundreds of thousands visit Beijing's New Year Temple Fair in Ditan park: http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/693433/New-Year-temple-fair-in-Ditan.aspx)
The importance of Spring Festival is beyond a massive holiday, it impacts everyone in China. Nearly billion of people will be travel back to their home at the so-called 40-days Chunyun (春运) travel period, the World's largest human migration movement [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chunyun].This year's Chunyun will be expected to make up around 3.16 billion passenger trips [http://www.china.org.cn/china/2012-01/23/content_24472408.htm] means around a round-trip for every people in China (population approx.13.3 billion).
While middle classes can afford to take airplane for the holiday, for average Chinese migrant workers and students, the less expensive railrod trip could be their only chance for few years to return their home for the holidays. Train ticket are always very difficult to buy during the holiday seasons, and the trip could be very long. Some people could take up-to10-days trip from far nothen China to far southern China to meet their family. Recently, Internet circulated a person who had 5-days/5-trains 4,000 KM (approx. 2,500 miles) trips from easten Chinese city of Tianjin to fa western Chinese town of Yining for visiting his family.
Holiday also means they need to bring their year-long saving from their work to their family; however, not everyone are so lucky. Many workers also need to fight for their back-wages as well, right before the new year many company bosses also could cheating their worker's wages, they need to fight to get their money back.
Across my father's Tijian hospital, there're dozen workers protest daily against the real estate developer who had cheated 20 million Chinese Yuan (approx. 3 million USD) back wages.
Last year I had busy working and traveling between China and US to build bi-national activist solidarity and justice movements. Our office in the Wuxi has been open, we had many networking opportunities meeting with many activists, youth, academia, government officials from different areas at across China.
There're many success as well as difficulties, while I am Chinese speaks Mandarin fluently, yet they still looking me as "foreigner" giving me different types of stereo-type assumptions (as well as unnecessary social privileges). I always need hide my overseas status (as Chinese-Japanese background, Hong Kong-born Chinese-American), to be very humble with everyone in order to overcome our communication differences and distrust.
Every time I back to China I see many happiness and hope, feeling the better with facing less racism, oppression and exploitation then U.S.; yet not everyone want to see a happier, prosper China then U.S.
The steady rise of China's right wing pro-US/anti-communist neo-con/neo-liberals forces had been highly alarmed me, they have deep roots from U.S. covert financial and political background; they can be comes with many "progressive" faces claim to be the people's savior: workers' rights, anti-corruption, human rights, independence, environmental rights, disarmament, cyber activism and so on. They keep recycling rethoric syaing everything in China under communist party and Socialism is hell and evil--only fully surrender to learn to become Christian capitalist U.S.--even become US colony is the only manifest density for China's future--The same dirty propaganda tricks had been using in the middle east, Latin America and the East Europe in the past--They're NOT simply an ideological "words of war" fights between left/progressive vs. right/pro-US; it's the life-and-death fight between inviting western imperial colonization vs. anti-imperialism/national independence and economic justice.
One of the hot international topic these days in China is Iran and Syria, while most Chinese supports the Iranian and Syrian government against the western-US middle-east corrupted oil monarchy backed oppositions in these two countries, the pro-US Chinese "liberals" and their backed media are non-stop pumping their rhetoric based on US Fox TV right wing propaganda, with false human rights accusations against Iran and Syria, repeatedly arguing there's no other way but inviting US-NATO to invade theses two countries, recycling: "burn the village to save it" lies. The same deceptions had been used in Vietnam, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Panama and most recently, in Libya.
As a former long-time undocumented sweatshop workers and oppressed people of color Chinese-American activist in US, I know what's going on in U.S., and U.S. covert and overt intension for China. For the year of Dragon I need to work hard to unite true peace and justice activist from the both countries to build a true mutually respect bi-national solidarity movements that can be unite us together to fight for our common enemy and build our goals, and this is my Year of Dragon wishes...
Lee Siu Hin
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