Happy Lunar New Year! Also, Does Our Daycare Think We're Terrible Parents?
Happy Lunar New Year!
It’s the Year of the Tiger, which has unleashed a torrent of cat love in an already-cat-obsessed country. Everywhere you go, you see cute drawings of cats or cat-like creatures. Here’s a sample from a Starbucks:
If you’re in a LINE group with Taiwanese people, we’re sure you’ve received messages like this:
President Tsai Ing-Wen has been leading the charge, sending her new year’s greeting with her cats. (Can you think of any other country where a single female president could display love for cats so openly?)
Terrible parents update: Please don’t fire us, daycare!
Nearly every day our daycare sends us a message with the possible subtext that we’re terrible parents. (It’s impossible to really know because, true to Taiwanese form, the messages have friendly stickers and emojis that soften and hide the potential reprimands.) We have so many screenshots of these messages that we don’t know how to choose. But, earlier last week, they asked whether Wenhui—our child’s Chinese name—was coming to school. (We keep her up too late and regularly blow past arrival time, dropping her off a little before 10 a.m.)
Here’s a message gently correcting our hygienic efforts:
For a little pop of suspense and shock value, Michelle has taken to running some of these messages into Google Translate. Here’s a recent salvo:
The director accompanied this message with a photo of the offending red pen mark but not of our child’s buttcheek:
That being said, our daycare really is the best. Here is a new year’s card they made for us in which they photo-shopped our baby into a tiger hat. She wishes you all a happy new year:
Some Updates, Including Next Week’s Essays & Our Dostoevsky Book Club Date
Next Sunday, we’re honored to share a guest essay by Nicholas Haggerty, writer and editor of the News Lens International. Provocative, original, and meticulously researched, his essay explores the legacy of former president Chen Shui-bian. And this coming Thursday, in our Mandarin version, Lihan Luo, who works at the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty, shares how she came to do such urgent work.
If you missed it, check out Catherine Chou’s powerful piece about learning Mandarin and Taiwanese, which struck a chord across the world and will soon be available here in Mandarin and Taiwanese. Last week, we published reader responses (thank you, readers!). Our past two Mandarin editions have celebrated Taiwanese & Taiwanese American jazz musicians, with Victor Lin here and Peter Lin, Hsinwei Chiang, and Jeff Chang here.
Our Dostoevsky reading continues, with our next book club at Friday, February 25th, 7 PM EST. All are welcome!
Happy New Year everyone! We’re keeping it light and short this week, as it’s been the holiday here and everything (our daycare included) is shut down. See you next week and sending love and peace and joy.