By Member Jessalin Lam
“Be proud to be Asian. Be proud to be American. You’ve earned the right to be both and we can all work together to be a united America. That’s the hope and that’s the dream.” – Daniel Dae Kim on the fight against anti-Asian American violence
This Friday, February 12th marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year, a holiday celebrated by many Asian countries and those within the Asian diaspora, including the Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean-American communities.
Lunar New Year represents new beginnings and it will be the Year of the Ox. Typically, family and friends come together to wish happiness, health and fortune upon each other.
Since the celebrations will not be the same with our current state in a global pandemic this year, many Asian communities are celebrating virtually this year including:
- Ascend’s Lunar New Year Celebration
- China Institute’s Chinese New Year Family Festival
- Lunar New Year with the Smithsonian American Art Museum
- Virtual Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Ox
- Think!Chinatown Lunar New Year Virtual Programming
When I think of my memories of celebrating Lunar New Year, my family and I would visit my relatives in New York’s Chinatown every year and see the lion dances to celebrate the new year (pictured above). As a child, it was one of my favorite times of the year to be able to spend quality time with family, enjoy delicious food, receive red envelopes with money for good luck, and go to the spectacular lion dance performances in the streets of Chinatown.
Now that we are celebrating virtually this year, I encourage you to join the virtual events and support the Asian community by supporting Welcome to Chinatown, a grassroots initiative to support Chinatown businesses and amplify community voices. Their recent Lunar New Year campaign is a Made in Chinatown Lunar New Year Collection in partnership with local Asian small businesses and organizations. You can purchase the collection here where the profits go directly back to the establishments. Throughout the month of February, you can join Send Chinatown Love as they host a Lunar New Year Crawl in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.
The Ad Club of NY has been an ongoing resource for my career journey and I recently reached out to them to collaborate in supporting the Asian community. I am grateful for them inviting me to share more about Asian Lunar New Year in this blog post. We are also looking to continue to celebrate the Asian culture and create opportunities to support Asians, especially during these challenging times where there continues to be violence against Asians. If you are interested in joining the initiative to support the Asian Community, fill out the form here.
Jessalin Lam is a passionate, people-oriented leader with over 10 years of combined experience across learning and development, diversity and inclusion, marketing, partnerships, business development, client management, and consulting. She is currently a Precision Marketing Academy Director on the Nissan United team at TBWA. She is currently President Elect for Association for Talent Development NYC. She was a 2009 ACNY MediAction Scholarship Recipient, served ACNY Young Pro Committee in 2014-2016, 2015 ACNY Rising Star Recipient, and 2018 i’mPART Women Fellows.