Happy New Year! I loved this wonderful post on Lunar New Year by one of my favorite blogs, Fakequity (get it? Fake Equity? Motto: “FAKEQUITY IS BAD. IT SHOWS UP AS ALL TALK AND NO ACTION.”) The author talks about their love of the Lunar New Year traditions in many Asian cultures, and that “One of the reasons I love lunar new year is it the only Asian holiday even remotely recognized in the US and Western society.” They then lament those times when organizations schedule random events on Lunar New Year: “The rant sounds like this: ‘One day! Can we get one day to celebrate? Why did they schedule on this day?!?’”
A couple of years back, an organization I’m in scheduled an event on (IIRC) Purim. We were quite properly called on it, and rescheduled. At that time, determined not to make the same mistake, I went into my Google Calendar and checked a bunch of boxes to add a variety of culturally significant holidays:
After reading the Fakequity post, I went to check whether this had resulted in adding Lunar New Year and … of course not. What’s worse, this is the full list of religious holidays Google lets you add. After that, it has a very long list of country holidays you can add:
And so on. So there’s no generic way to add Hindu or other religions’ holidays, Indigenous holidays, or cultural holidays of other parts of Asia or Africa. To make sure I got at least Chinese cultural holidays, I checked “Holidays in Taiwan,”** which helpfully added such things as “Farmer’s Day.”
Fakequity to the rescue again! Early this year, they created a list of “2019 Culturally Significant Dates and New Years (x15).”*** These are all going in CREEC’s calendar so we can do our best to respect these diverse holidays. And also find ways to enjoy culturally significant food throughout the year!
*Or “Gong Shi Gong Shi” if you were lucky enough to study Chinese at Middlebury summer language school sometime in the late 1970s and become completely unable to read any other, much more popular, system of Romanization.
**Why Taiwan and not China? Because I lived there for three years in the early 1980s and still miss it.
***In this post you will find another of the many reasons I love Fakequity. In listing the holidays, it says; “Below is a graphic to share. … I’ve listed the text below [the graphic] for people who want to use a text-to-speech reader …”