Hi everyone! How’s everyone doing? I’m doing very well, thank you for asking ;)
As the title mentions (somewhat), Tibetan New Year was yesterday. Of course, so was the Chinese, Vietnamese etc.’s new year, but seeing as I’m a Tibetan I’m obviously going to focus on my heritage (heh heh).
I was a little bummed the week before because Tibetan New Year fell on (this past) Monday and even though I’m in Senior Spring (for those who don’t know, basically talking about a Senior’s second semester, where everyone doesn’t give a fuck) I still felt like I couldn’t miss anything. So, bummed as I was I decided to stay at school while my family celebrated back at home. It was even more depressing because I was not able to celebrate Tibetan new years with my family at home since eighth grade. Stupid boarding school kept me busy here. I remember in first grade my mom actually let me stay home from school for two whole weeks because of Tibetan New Years. Now I couldn’t even take one day off (hmph).
Then…. Nemo hit (Okay, I probably gave you guys a hint/sense of what part of the world/country I’m living in…). It was absolutely beautiful not going to lie. I personally honestly love it when some ‘dangerous’ weather occurs because come on, it’s not everyday you get to experience a blizzard or something, right? I get a little excited times like those….
So school was cancelled on Friday, and I was still at the dorm, just bummed (I’m going to use that word a lot throughout the post) because I still couldn’t go home. Come Sunday night, it’s announced that we won’t have school on Monday either. And honestly, my school would have been crazy NOT to cancel classes because the entire roads along my school were covered in ice, there were still banks of snow surrounding the sidewalks, and everyone on campus was slipping/falling here and there.
Everyone was pumped and so was I. I was sitting at my desk later, trying to watch a live hockey game online (but it kept clogging because of the shitty weather) and then my dad calls. Long story short, he invited me home and offered to drop me off at school Tuesday (this) morning. Boy I was SO PUMPED AND ECSTATIC. I blasted loud, cheery, happy music from my laptop and was literally dancing while I went around my room getting my laundry, make up, and all that other stuff together. My parents came with a surprise guest too! My dog! He was so pumped too when I yelled his name excitedly.
That night, my mom prepared food for the next day, my dad was decorating some stuff on the walls, and I was just… doing nothing. I wandered around the house, dancing to my music, still just as happy (I swear, I don’t think I was in THAT good of a mood since my birthday… maybe not even then!).
At midnight, my mom prepared this thing called Changoe (chung-go —- yeah, no emphasis anywhere there really) or Chang for short. It’s basically Tibetan alcohol. But I guess it’s more similar to wine in a sense. But it looks kind of like porridge. So you drink/eat it from a small bowl. It’s supposed to have you sleep well too… Now that I think about it, I think a lot of alcoholic stuff does that to you haha.
On Tibetan New Years, you wake up early and eat a traditional breakfast which consists of Daesi and Tibetan tea (jha bhoeja). Daesi (they-see, but not so strong on the ‘ey’ part) is just sweet, buttered rice with a few raisins in it. You eat a small bowl and drink Tibetan tea, which is butter tea (butter, butter everywhere!).
After that, we all got dressed to head out to this thing called Gonpa (sounds more like ghom-pa) and the closest translation I can get to that is a ‘temple’ but not really. Since there aren’t any (Tibetan) temples around in America… some higher monks have huge houses where they place temple items, like large statues, a picture of His Holiness, and such like that. So Tibetans go to Gonpas on New Years (or anytime else they wish) and do three bows in respect, and place a few (or a lot…) of money on specific areas (for example in front of His Holiness’ picture) and a Tibetan silk scarf called a khathak (last ‘k’ is silent).
We left after that to my uncle’s house to give him a bottle of… some alcohol I don’t remember what it was. As we were leaving after some time of chit chatting, my uncle slipped $100 bucks in my pocket. It’s expected that people refuse and decline the money politely or reaaaalllly insist furiously that they not give it, but in the end you take it. I’m at the age where I’m old enough to refuse the money by myself, but still young enough where I don’t feel totally comfortable resisting (for reasons unknown actually). My mom refused profusely on my part, literally pushing my uncle’s hands away, and I’m standing there like “Ah… no, it’s okay I don’t want it… ah uncle it’s okay…!” …. so awkward. I need to work on that more.
When we got home, my mom cooked dinner and I worked on homework. Took a nap later with my dog because I got so tired. I woke up to some commotion downstairs. Went down to see my uncle, my cousin and his fiance just sitting there chatting. Like, okay hello to you too! It was a pleasant surprise dinner for me actually.
Had loads of fun. I’m off to bed now. Exhausted…. Good night world! Hello dream land!