Happy Thanksgiving!

THANKFUL FOR SO MUCH TODAY!

Even though I am thousands of miles from friends and family today, I am grateful to have the means to stay in contact during my work abroad. Thank you Greenhouse Restaurant for the free wifi.

I am thankful for all the help, encouragement and laughs I’ve had from my friends during the past trying year. I have felt as if I were in limbo for so long and finally am getting a sense of direction in life 🙂

I am thankful for my family, who have been supporting me and my passions, allowing me to find my own way and have a job that I absolutely love doing. And also for not freaking out about my new tattoo 😛

Lastly, I am thankful to be alive, healthy and living a life full of music, food and fun.

Happy Thanksgiving!

John

p.s. to keep up to date on my cruise adventures, check out my other blog, spinnin’ along and check out my instagram

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Summer Travel Recap!

Yo!

So sorry for the lack of updates, but I finally have a chance to update you guys on what I’ve been up to these past months. Aside from taking the GRE and getting my application together for PT school, I’ve been doing a ton of traveling! First stop was back home to Cincinnati in the middle of July to spin a wedding for my close family friend, Carl (congrats to him and his new wife, Arwen!). Despite a little rain shower, the ceremony was beautiful, complete with a full rainbow backdrop. Set in Ault Park, the reception took place in the famous pavilion space overlooking the plaza. This was the first time I have actually ever performed for my hometown friend’s and family so it was pretty awesome sharing my passion with them in such a great setting. Definitely an awesome time!

My family at the Ault Park Pavilion

A brief return to STL and then I was off to yet another wedding in northern California the next weekend. I got a chance to see my grandparents (who were coincidentally celebrating their golden anniversary that weekend as well) as well as my adorable cousins Nicholas and Grace. After venturing up to San Francisco to I catch an IMAX 3D showing of the Dark Knight with a few of my best college buds, I bummed a ride up to Wilbur Hot Springs resort to celebrate the union of my friend Xiaojing and her new husband, Vaughn. Two hours north of Oakland, the resort is entirely solar-powered and “off the grid”. I’ll admit it was strangely refreshing to be without my phone and gadgets during my stay; I can’t remember the last time I was without technology for more than 24 hours. But I guess in retrospect I was not completely cutoff, as the greatest part of the night was that they had brought a generator in order to power the amazing soundsystem that they set up in an outdoor veranda. I got a chance to witness some amazing house/soul DJs rock a dance floor from 10pm to nearly 5am in this awesome secluded resort and even threw down a short set as well. Shout out to DJ Cali for letting me use his tech12s and Rane MP 2016 (first time working with a rotary mixer, very cool!) HOUSE MUSIC ALL NIGHT LONG!

Grandma and Grandpa Huang!

After another short return to STL (and tackling the GRE), I flew out to the big apple for an amazing weekend, visiting old friends, eating way too much food and locking down all the details for upcoming fall cruise tour! The last time I was in NYC was about 5 years ago and I was not quite of age to experience all the goodness that the city could offer. This time, I made sure I got a real taste of the city: Columbia campus crashing, shopping in SOHO, brunching in West Village, late night falafel and hookah in East Village, Times Square rooftop chillin’, barhopping across Manhattan, boating on the Hudson and so much more. Huge thanks to my awesome friends Kate and Tommy for hosting me at their apartments during my stay, love you guys! The main purpose of the trip, however, was to visit Scratch DJ Academy, the umbrella organization that hired me to DJ these cruises I’ve been talking about for this fall. Located in the heart of Manhattan, the academy houses both the offices of SCRATCH as well as an impressive teaching environment laden with no less than 2 dozen DJ set-ups, several private session rooms and a production/teaching studio overlooking the city. I got a chance to meet some awesome DJs, including the budding TJ Mizell a.k.a DopeRoots (the late Jam Master Jay’s youngest son) and observe one of the DJ 101 classes. What an inspiration it was to see proper instruction on mixing/scratching to people who were genuinely interested in the fundamentals of the craft. I decided I will have to return to NYC for an entire week to take some intensive courses later this year!

My friend Julia in one of the teaching studios!

I am so honored and proud to be part of such a group and am excited to see where the future takes them. A humongous thanks to my good friend Julia for encouraging me to apply in the first place, I am forever thankful for your friendship!

So now I am finally back in St. Louis for a solid 5 weeks before my first official cruise DJ gig! Focus is now on completing my PT school applications and prepping for some of the wildest months of my life this fall 😀

For all my favorite pictures of the summer, check out my public facebook albums here: PART 1 || PART 2

Until next time!

John

Family Feature: Tommy Huang (弟弟)

This week I’m gonna shift gears and focus on one of the other purposes of this blog: my family. As I mentioned in my first post, I created bananalife to not only be an outlet for me to share all things ABC, but also to keep a space dedicated to my large and loving family. For this first family feature post, I am proud to introduce you to my one-and-only younger brother, 黄瑞 欣 a.k.a. Tommy.

He used to look like THIS:

scavenging the bed pillow chocolates on our cruise in 2001

Now he looks like THIS  -__-

The wasabi challenge (2011)

Here are the basics on Tommy Huang:

  • Loves video games, especially Dynasty Warriors and Pokémon franchises (as do I)
  • Has a great knack for baking, especially desserts (creme brulee, anyone?)
  • An absolute BOSS at origami. No joke, check out some of his work HERE.
  • A ladies man (I came home to celebrate his 14th birthday last year and found our house filled with a dozen teenage girls o_O)
  • His favorite color has always been pink, no matter what he tells you now.

I honestly don’t remember the exact moment when my parents told me I was going to get a younger sibling. I do know that I had just turned 8 years old and that my initial reaction probably involved some ninja jump-kicks along with hi-pitched squeaks of joy. My mom tells me that not 5 minutes after hearing the news, I asked: “Can we name him… Tommy… after Tommy Pickles???” (90’s cartoons FTW).

Despite looking more and more physically similar as the years go by, Tommy and I are quite distinct in terms of personality. I attribute it partly to the fact that as my parent’s first born, I grew up in a much different environment than my brother.  I like to joke that I was the guinea pig – a human beta test, if you will – for my parents who had just moved to the states a couple years prior to my glorious world entrance and were still learning how to be American themselves. Subsequently, I was definitely given more freedom as a kid, dabbling in everything the typical all-American childhood has to offer: boy scouts, soccer, baseball, summer camp, et cetera. Tommy, on the other hand, got a more streamlined tiger-treatment from the start. Not that he wasn’t allowed to pursue these activities, it’s just this time around I think my parents were able to reflect off of other ABC families they had met and got a better idea on what was more “efficient” – i.e. he started playing violin when he was very young, joined the local swim team and (recently) started to play tennis like a good little Asian. It’s kind of like the first time you play Pokémon where you don’t really care what the best ones are and just explore/experiment; then during your next play-through you go in with an agenda to raise the best team and find all the items. I believe there are merits to both avenues, and my family can definitely show for that… wait, did I just compare my development as child to the training of fantastical monster-slaves?

… Anyways, another difference and something I’ve always been jealous of Tommy is that he’s been able to travel back to China much more than I have. Busy high school and college summers have prevented me from going for the last decade, but Tommy was able to take advantage of his grade school breaks along with the benefit of our mom being able to travel to China for work each year. I think being able to go on these trips (6 times in his 14 years vs. my 4 times over 23 years) has given him a better appreciation for our family’s heritage and Asian culture in general than I was able to have growing up. As a result, Tommy’s mandarin is much stronger than mine when I was his age and I envy him for that!

Bros at Keystone, CO (2008)

To conclude this feature, here is a short letter I’ve just written to Tommy, b/c I know he be reading bananalife:

Dear Tommy,

After moving to St. Louis almost 6 years ago, I realized I have missed much of your transformation from cherubic yet devilish tagalong baby brother to too-cool-for-school wisecracking teenager. That can’t really be helped, though, with our almost 9-year age difference. You’ve grown so much since I last shared a home with you, both physically and emotionally; and it was been so much fun to watch you grow each time I visit. I won’t lie, you used to annoy the crap out of me and I have absolutely no regrets locking you out of my room when I was trying to play Magic cards with my friends. But as we both have matured and continue to do so, I am glad that we are becoming better and better friends even though we aren’t able to spend as much time together. I’m proud of you and look forward to the next time we can destroy some n00bs on xbox together.

Sincerely your 哥哥,
John

p.s. I’m sorry I used to shoot you with my AirSoft gun.

p.p.s. I can’t believe mom let me have an AirSoft gun.

Why I always eat my vegetables…

Growing up in an Asian household, I think one of the things I am most thankful for is the eating habits I’ve acquired. I guess I have to attribute most of this to my family, which is FULL of fantastic cooks, but I realize that there is something innate in Asian culture that has led to such healthy and flavorful cuisine. As a people, we are very resourceful, especially when it comes to food. If you think about it, traditional chinese cuisine is not really rich or extravagant, but rather wholesome and always full of flavor. We find ways to utilize almost every part of an animal or plant and can stretch a couple dishes to feed an entire family. Not to mention it’s all pretty healthy too! When was the last time you saw a chinese dish that used butter, cream or cheese in it? Never, because it simply isn’t done (dim sum desserts don’t count). And you wonder why your Asian friends are all so thin (though international McDonald’s and KFC have been changing that as of late).

Nevertheless, I haven’t always loved Chinese food. In fact, I used to be quite a pick eater when I was younger – go ahead and ask my parents; there was a time when I demanded Happy Meals and pizza rolls day in and day out and had to be force fed my spinach. But gradually (I think traveling back to China so often had a large part to do with it), I began to appreciate zhōngcān, and even started to crave it when I had too many sandwiches back-to-back. There is a certain comfort in a blank canvas of white rice: that foundation of clean, pure and unadulterated nourishment that marries with practically any sauce, meat and vegetable – what’s not to love? Grabbing up a bowl of the finest short-grain and sitting around sharing plates of food “family-style” is something I’ve always loved about Asian cuisine:

HEY! QUIT TAKING PICTURES, WE TRYNA EAT!

But I digress. What I really wanted to talk about in this post was how being Chinese has instilled in me a love for fruits and vegetables. I know it sounds strange, but I am very thankful for it. Despite my finicky palette as a kid, I remember always asking my mom to buy us juicy mangoes, seedless watermelon and those delicious, crispy Asian pears. Being introduced to fresh produce at a young age, I really can’t imagine what it would be like without it. It wasn’t until I started having sleepovers with my white friends that I realized how lucky I was. I mean, the only fruits and vegetables my friends ever ate came out a yellow can and were either drenched in blindingly sweet syrup or frozen solid. That’s no way to live!

One particular childhood memory I have regarding food was having dinner down the street at my white friend’s house when I was about 8 years old. We had roasted chicken (yum), fresh dinner rolls (YUM!) and… some odd, yellowish/brown item I later learned was… buttered broccoli (-____-). Why must white people do such horrible things to their vegetables? Strange as it may sound for a third grader, broccoli was actually one of my absolute favorite foods… and it sure as hell it wasn’t supposed to look like that! What I’ve always seen as a bright, crunchy and fragrant green was reduced down to a soggy, fattening, denatured mess. But being the polite guest, I forced it down and pretended to enjoy it. My friend saw this, thinking I actually liked it, and shoveled his broccoli onto my plate while his dad wasn’t looking! Infuriated, but not wanting to cause any trouble, I woefully ate his portion. And that was the last time I ever ate there.

I couldn’t help but feel sorry for my friend; that he had to be subject to this culinary injustice is such a travesty! If you’ve always hated broccoli, then I blame your parents. I also blame butter. And if you’ve only eaten broccoli that’s been doused in cheese or ranch dressing, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. Try some of mama Huang’s 西兰花 and you’ll be wondering why you’ve been so silly all these years.

So for my first bananalife recipe, I am going to share with you one of the simplest and best-tasting ways to prepare broccoli (credit goes to my mom!)

STIR-FRIED BROCCOLI W/GARLIC (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 2x broccoli crowns
  • 3-4x cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of water or beef/chicken broth
  • kosher salt to taste
Equipment:
  • Stovetop
  • Large skillet or wok
  • Slotted spatula
  • Cutting board and chef’s knife
Preparation
  1. Remove any leafy parts from the trunk of the broccoli crowns and wash with cold water.
  2. Take the crowns and tear off florets into bite sized pieces (larger florets can be halved). You will be left with the tough trunk section which can be peeled and sliced into thin pieces (don’t throw it out!)
  3. The garlic should be sliced into very thin rounds. Like in Goodfellas. Well, maybe not THAT thin, but you get the idea.
  4. Heat the oil in your skillet to medium-high heat; add the garlic slivers and toast until fragrant (should only take a minute or so). Don’t let the garlic burn!
  5. Add your broccoli florets to the pan and stir to coat with the garlic infused oil.
  6. Add the 1/2 cup of water or broth to the pan. This will prevent the garlic from burning; the steam will start to cook the broccoli (but you don’t have to cover it).
  7. Sprinkle salt to taste and continue to stir occasionally for about 5 more minutes.
  8. Once the broccoli is bright green, tender yet still crunchy, you can take it off the heat and serve!

This is how it should be done. Butter, GTFO.

I think the reason why this is so delicious is that it accentuates the great texture and color of the vegetable without compromising its taste. Since broccoli on its own is rather bland, the garlic adds the right amount of flavor without overpowering its natural floral fragrance. YEAH, I KNOW WASSUP!!!

Hope you guys enjoy! If you have young kids, this is the way to introduce them to broccoli 🙂

John

PICTURE OF THE WEEK: cousin packin’ heat

After coming home from China this winter break, I raided my family’s old photo albums to discover some gems. This is by far my favorite:

Peng Song packin' HEAT

My yi ma (mom’s older sister) and cousin Peng Song when she was about 3 (she is 2.5 years older than me so this was probably ’88 or ’89). FWAHAHAHA.

More where this came from.

My Cousin’s Big Fat Chinese Wedding, pt. 2

Yo!

Sorry about the late follow-up to this post! Been busy being a dragon this past week: just joined a gym, classes started back up and my new DJ residency is taking off; so a pretty good start to the new year!

Anyways, let’s rewind about 6 weeks and head back to Humen, Guangdong, where my lovely cousin Li Xi and her new husband Wu Hai-Feng had their BOSS wedding. Like I mentioned in the last post, my cousins are pretttttttty wealthy. The day of the wedding was both exciting and exhausting for everyone, especially our family (both my uncle and grandma came down with the sickness the night before!) After the morning ceremonies and pigging out at lunch, we all booked it to the hotel where the evening reception was to take place and came down with the ITIS for a bit (gotta rest up before the next feast!)

BALL SO HARD

Finally, it was time to make our way to the ballroom; my mother dressed in her traditional red & gold chi-pao while I suit-ed up in a matching red tie. Sidenote: you’ll notice in the pictures from the slideshow below that most of the guests did not dress up for the wedding. In China, it seems that only the bridal/groom party and the parent’s of the betrothed wear formal clothing while other guests wear whatever they choose. Given the black on black two-piece, my spiky fauxhawk and shiny studs, it was pretty clear I wasn’t a native of the area. I am pretty sure guests started snappin’ pictures and asked my family if I was a famous celebrity from the states, lol.

Rather than describe the magnificence of the venue, check out the following slide show. I can’t begin to imagine how much time it took to put this all together:

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The ceremony itself was unlike anything I’ve been to before; it really felt like a red carpet event and pretty much played out like one as well. It opened up with mingling and pictures with the bride and groom at the ballroom threshold (when you see it in the slideshow, be sure to check the hilarious typo in the back drop – why must they use English phrases if they can’t read it???). After getting seated finally (900+ guests in 88 tables!) the lights dimmed and a cute slideshow of the wedding couple commenced (played to the song ‘Beauty and the Beast’ lol).

Wu Hai Feng gettin' all emotional and ish

Finally, after half of the courses were served, they began the wedding march. Similar to western weddings, the bride is escorted by her father down the aisle, however, instead of meeting the groom at the altar (in this case, canopy?), the groom approaches them to proclaim his love and ask for the father’s blessing. You can see in the pictures that Hai-Feng walked across the catwalk (to the tune of his favorite band) to face them and say his vows. It got pretty sappy here and he made everyone cry with a very sweet and sincere speech (I’m not gonna lie, I teared up a bit). My uncle, who is not the most eloquent speaker, responded in his typical jokester fashion saying something along the lines of: “Hai-Feng, you are a good dude and I like you because you have no bad habits” (snicker snicker).

My uncle crackin' jokes

After that, I was ready to get back to dominating the feast in front of me, but not 2 minutes into my lobster tail, I was ushered up by Li Xi’s mom to be part of the toasting party. I guess I was honored, but have you ever toasted 88 tables before? IT TOOK OVER AN HOUR AND A HALF!!! Later I found out that my aunt said I had to represent our family b/c  no one else on her side dressed up, lol. There was this toasting “master” who led us to each table, yelling random nonsense and filling our cups with iced tea (from a cognac bottle, haha). Finally after 5 glasses of faux Remy Martin, I returned to a table of cold, but nonetheless tasty dishes, which I pigged out on as the guests began to leave. You sure do work up an appetite pretending to get drunk.

Had to toast 88 tables... don't worry, not real booze

So here’s a quick and incomplete tally of all the absurd displays and expenses:

  • A ridiculous laser-light show opening with acrobats
  • Custom sand animation depicting their love story (couldn’t post the original but the link shows pretty much what it was like – it was definitely my favorite part!)
  • The master of ceremony was apparently a celebrity TV host from Guangzhou
  • Really piercing performances by Peking opera singers
  • A professionally shot music video performed by the bridesmaid and 24/7 photography & videography documenting the entire weekend
  • 12-course meal that included shark fin soup, giant abalone, dragon-tail lobster, roast baby pig and many other delectables
  • Times that by 88 tables!
  • And wedding gifts included a 2012 Audi TTS 2.0, set of Cartier watches, traditional solid gold necklace and bracelets, and over 500,000 in cold, hard RMB (that’s one huge hong bao)

All in all, I was told that the entire ceremony (including gifts, hotels, performances etc.) totaled to around 8 MILLION RMB (that’s about 1.3 million USD o_O). Good thing in China, it’s the groom’s family who pays for the wedding, lol

FOOD

So after digesting all of that extravagance, I began to think about the institution of marriage between East and West. Obviously, there are the cultural traditions that separate us as well as the lack of religious context. But why was it so necessary to be this grand? Though I had a blast, I couldn’t help by think how wasteful and over-the-top the whole event was (they threw out the entire CAKE!). I learned that showcasing your wealth is just something that is done in China. To display success and fortune is a part of Chinese culture; and contrary to Western values, it isn’t really considered arrogant to do so. I guess you could say that Chinese people place high esteem in material wealth; so if you got it, you might as well flaunt it. It think this traces back to China’s focus on valuing family lineage and honor through tangible measures of success.

Let me remind you again that this not your typical Chinese wedding, so forgive me if I may be over-generalizing. One thing is for sure: my cousin is never going to have to worry about money the rest of her life!

Still dreaming of that crispy pork,

John

p.s. My grandparents asked me if my wedding was going to be like this, to which I respond, 哎吔! 不会! (rough translation: AW HELLLLL NO!)

Tiger Mom Swag

Yo!

So I recently started reading the infamous “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” a memoir-style book by Yale Law professor Amy Chua that talks about the her experiences raising her two daughters in the traditional -and in her case, extreme- “Chinese way”. I know I am kind of late to the party (I believe this book was all the rage about a year ago) but I recall reading the original WSJ article a while back and thinking how insanely strict this lady was -and how lucky I was to have a not-so-intense tiger mom. She seemed so over-the-top and almost borderline abusive that I didn’t want to read her book b/c I figured I’d end up just feeling sorry for her kids. But then I read later that the WSJ article actually placed the excepts out of context and misconstrued her true motivations and behavior. I think it was unfortunate that much of the criticism over Chua was delivered from people who had just read the initial article and not the actual book. Nevertheless, I have heard a lot of mixed reviews and I am excited to give it a read and develop my own opinion on it. From what it looks like in interviews and articles, her daughters seemed to have turned out to be very intelligent, polite, sociable and accomplished individuals. Regardless of the crazy, Chua must have been doing something right.

tiger mom don't play

After reading a few chapters, I find that her writing style is rather blunt, which may be is why it is so amusing. Many of her stories remind me of some of my own childhood experiences and I realized that that this book is the a perfect resource to help spur ideas for this blog. Not only that, I learned that Chua is coming to St. Louis this semester to give a talk. I wonder if she’d to sign my MCAT prep book.

Speaking of “tiger moms,” I wanna share a link to the comical blog of a fellow banana and good friend of mine, Stacey. Her tumblr, aptly titled, “My Tiger Mom: Gems of Misunderstood Wisdom,” is a collection of quotes and conversations she’s had with her sharp-tongued and unknowingly hilarious matriarch. Do yourself a favor and follow her!

Lastly, because it is awesome, here is a pic of my grandma in her favorite jacket:

TIGER GRANDMA SWAG!

Until next time,
John

My Cousin’s Big Fat Chinese Wedding, pt. 1

Welcome to my first feature post of BANANA LIFE!

As you all know, I traveled to China this past December to attend the wedding of my dear cousin Li Xi and her boyfriend of 8 years, Wu Hai Feng. Now, having only been to a few traditional western weddings in my lifetime, I really did not know what to expect with this one. All I knew was that there was gonna be A LOT of food, and A LOT of red & gold.

There was a "hong bao" with every invitation!

Well, I was certainly correct on those two accounts. What I didn’t realize until a few weeks before traveling to China was that my new cousin-in-law is an RMB-illionaire (seriously, his family is DIDDY-loaded). I learned that Hai Feng’s grandfather was a very famous chief of medicine and founder of one of the biggest hospitals in Humen (his hometown in the Guangdong province) and his father owns a very successful glass manufacturing business (which he will one day run). In addition, my uncle (Li Xi’s father and my mom’s older brother) has risen to be one of the top business managers of a corporate and residential interior design firm in Dongguan, Guangdong and is doing quite well for himself as well. Put these two families together and what do we get? I’ll let the following picture speak for itself:

I can tell you with 99% confidence that this was and will be, the most extravagant wedding I ever go to.

But before we get into the details of the actual evening ceremony, I wanted to share some of the customs that occurred prior to the extravaganza depicted above. I was overwhelmed when I heard how much had to be done to prepare for the wedding. As Li Xi said to me when I arrived a few days early, “太多麻烦!” (translation: way too much trouble!)

NOTE: Some of the traditions I am about to describe are specific to the Guangdong province, so they should not be generalized with all of China. And obviously, this is not a typical wedding since the two families are each BALLIN’ status. I just don’t want to get your hopes up when you get invited to a Chinese wedding and expect the same level of craziness, haha.

Pre-Wedding Customs:

  • The bride must buy 6 new outfits that must be packed in a red suitcase and taken to her new home to be worn during the week following the wedding. The clothes are then never worn again and discarded.
  • The bridal party must drink a sweet herbal soup consisting of the following: lotus seed, white wood ear fungus, lily bulbs, and dried red dates sweetened by rock sugar (tastes better than it sounds!)
  • The groom’s family gives the bride an herbal bath mixture that she must use the night before the wedding. The bride must also eat a roasted chicken prepared by her grandmother that same night (I have no idea what this symbolizes).
  • The bride’s hair must be brushed and done up in a bun –the style of chinese married women– by another female member of the family who is both happily married and financially successful (in this case, my mother). During this time, my mom must also drop some knowledge on her about how to be a good wife, lol.
  • The groom’s family must decorate and prepare the couple’s new home (in this case, an entire floor of their 5-story mansion o_O) with new bedding, furniture, and shiny things.
  • A bridal dowry of cash (a whole lot of it) is placed in two red buckets and strung across a pole to be carried in the ancient tradition. One of the elder members of the bride’s family must carry it to the groom’s home on the day of the wedding.

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Wedding Day Rituals

On the morning of the wedding, Hai Feng, whose family lives about 40 minutes away from Dongguan, caravanned over with his groomsmen to take us all back to his family’s mansion in Humen. While Li Xi was being prepped by my mother and accompanied by her nine bridesmaids in her newly bedazzled bedroom, I hung out with my aunt who filled me in on the wedding day customs:

  • Before the groom’s party could take Li Xi away they had to engage in a traditional “wedding door game”. Basically, the bridesmaids must block the door and prevent the groom and his party from entering. The only way the groom is allowed to enter is by correctly answering questions asked by the bridal party and offering hong bao. In ancient times and apparently some regions now, the groom’s party will force their way in by breaking down the door or windows; but given that my uncle just finished furnishing the home he said he’d kill any one who tried, lol.
  • Once in the bedroom, the groom must kiss the feet of the bride and find a hidden pair of red shoes before carrying her out of the threshold. Only then can all the parties leave for the groom’s home.
  • While traveling, the bride and groom must carry a red umbrella in order to ward off evil spirits as they cross the gates of their new home.
  • Relatives shower them with confetti and rice as pass by, which apparently is to attract the attention of the golden chicken, a symbol of health and success.
  • Lastly, the newlyweds must perform a ceremony where they burn incense and offer food and tea to their ancestors.

And FINALLY, we got to go and pig out at LUNCH 🙂 YUMMMMM

MID-DAY FEAST!

Whew! And that takes us up to around noon, lol. After food coma-ing for a bit and resting up at the hotel, we then got ready for the evening ceremony, which as you could probably tell from the picture above, was a tad insane. But I guess you’ll have to wait until next time to hear about that!

再見!

-John