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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Death Anniversary Celebration

Miss Hang, my coffee shop friend, asked me to be at her house yesterday at 4:00pm. I didn't know what we were going to do, but I always accept invitations - I could miss something really cool if I don't.

So there I was at 4:00. We hopped on her motorbike (aka: scooter) & were off. We stopped at the market & bought huge bags full of noodles & fruit. I started to realize that something big was about to happen. A little further down the road, I began to recognize our surroundings, & soon we pulled up in front of the same house where the wedding took place last month. All the usual suspects were there - it was a party!

I still had no idea what the occasion was, but was happy to see everyone again. They all welcomed me warmly & invited me to sit down. We gathered around long tables covered in plates of food, the women & children at one table sipping sodas, the men at another swilling beer.

Finally, one of the cousins who speaks very good English explained that this was a celebration for her grandfather who died four years ago, though the gathering was anything but somber. Everyone was laughing & boisterous. Yay for Granddad!

After dinner, I played with some of the children until it was time for them to go home. We gave each other high fives & stacked beer cans until they toppled, laughing heartily at our fun.

When the party dwindled to about 15 people, I was invited to the beer table & encouraged to drink lots & lots of beer. We all tossed our empty cans under the table, & clincked our glasses together as we yelled: "một, hai, ba, yo!" (1, 2, 3, yo!)

Miss Hang & I stayed until the very end, drinking & laughing together. When it was finally time to go home, we waved goodbye to family members, as the chicken bones & other debris that had been thrown on the floor during the festivities was swept out into the street. I got home at around 11:00pm, tired but happy, honored to have been a part of this celebration.

1 comment:

michelle said...
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