Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Under The August Moon

The August Moon carries with it mythical proportions. The moon is supposedly at its biggest and brightest than at any other time of the year. Basically, the August Moon is the perfection of yin.

One of my favorite movies as a kid was "Teahouse of the August Moon," and it still is today. Mid-August is when my family participates in the Obon festival back on Maui. I never realized how big of an event it was until last year when we came back to Maui for my uncle's funeral. I remember being able to get out of it as a child, but last year we all participated (or tried too ^_^).

That's my dad playing the sanshin, and that's my mom dancing ALL the dances (which there were like 15..?). She was teaching the dances to the two haoles following her. ^_^

Here in Taiwan, the celebration of the August Moon is the Mid-August festival, or the Moon Festival. People burn fake paper money all around town and the smell of incense lingers everywhere.

It's hard figuring out which culture I come from. I always used to just say I was American, but of course, it wasn't until I was 10 when I realized curry wasn't a "traditional" American food. I thought everyone ate curry for dinner at home. And it wasn't until I got to college when I realized that yes, there are actually a LOT of people who don't eat rice at every meal. It's crazy, I know, but true!

But then again, I usually have no clue about any Asian culture either; it's like this mixture where I never truly understand either culture, and so, I never truly experience any culture. Well, except for those in the TCK, as noted in my Dad's blog.

But being an observer/outsider has its perks. You become more aware of things other people take for granted because that's just the way they do it. And sometimes, you appreciate what the culture has to offer even more.


Connie said...

p.s. I forgot to mention that my little cousin Morgan is going to be joining my parents this year at the Obon on the sanshin. She rocks! ^_^

Dad said...

I guess you can't ignore who you are. So perhaps living in an asian culture reminds you of your asian roots? Taiwan, by the way, is very close to Okinawa geographically, and probably culturally too. We are under the same August moon here, and Obon is coming up this Saturday. Morgan and Mom will be playing the sanshin and singing with me. Will put it on youtube.

Connie said...

Couple more points I thought I'd add to this post (*chalk it up to being a stupid foreigner). NEXT month will be the Moon festival (because it'll be August according to the lunar calendar, or something), and this month is only Ghost Month. Which I guess is comparable to the Obon festival, just a month long...

Brad and Hailey said...

That was such a cool video!