Sunday, June 08, 2014

Chappy Campers + Neighborhood Intrigue

Yesterday Chappy took each of the kids separately to work on projects. Rumor on the street is that they also stopped to get frosties. Katie got to ride to Lowe's and pick out spray paint for her birdhouse (purple!), James got to wield a pocket knife and came home with a motor, and Tyler...well, I am not sure what he did. I call this Chappy Camp, and they seem to love it! In fact, I dare say the come back Chappy Campers...har, har!!!!

When we got home from church today, I noticed that the neighbor a few houses down had a very fancy arch of wisteria and flowers over their sidewalk, with balloons and banners. These particular neighbors are not very verbose so I know nothing about them. A bit later, I looked out the window to see the makings of a spectacle. I realized I have lived in suburbia too long when I am staring unashamed out my front window to see what was going on! But you would to, because this is what I saw. A little back story: these particular neighbors are of the Asian persuasion. Can I say that? Its pertinent to how I figured all this out. Anyway, there was a large congregation of people standing on the sidewalk across the street. They were in suits and ties, long dresses and there was a professional photographer and videographer. The thing that was most curious is that each of the men was holding something that looked like it fell somewhere in between a giant covered dish and an urn, and each of them was turquoise. To give you an idea of size, you could fit a pretty big turkey in one. Under each dish/urn was a bright red cloth. The men in the front had something else covered in red cloth. The man at the end held a huge rectangular box on his shoulder. They were there for quite a while and it left me time to devise several theories: was this the Vietnamese version of an Quinceanera? Was the long box filled with flowers? A large rodent? Dancing leprecauns? And at what point will a golden elephant waltz in to the picture? It was all very interesting, especially since we live in a neighborhood where the typical party involves a couple dollar store balloons, chicken wings and a few cases of beer. All these people lined up in some sort of procession, and as this was happening my next-door neighbor walked right out and asked them what they were doing. Yes! Thanks to his snoopy-ness, I now have the D-L. As they stood in their driveway staring I walked over to ask him what was going on (making me equally as snoopy). Turns out it was an engagement party. Each one of those giant urns WAS filled with food, and the large box on the guy's shoulder contained............a roasted pig! Seriously. I briefly considered dressing up and crashing the party at that point. The procession arrived at the house, where there were about 5 young women in fancy matching dresses standing in line, along with a bunch of other people. They took the urns and brought them into the house, and then everyone followed in. Very interesting, I tell you. So I googled it and found that yes, this is a 'thing' and in Vietnamese culture the engagement is nearly as important as the marriage and there is a lot of symbolism and tradition tied in to this celebration. You learn something new every day!

1 comment:

Terry and Linda said...

Now that is COOL!