"Growing up in Taiwan, our holidays always included ancestor worship. When my grandmother passed away, I had to lead the funeral procession because I was the eldest grandson. I remember carrying a white flag with script written on it, and a bucket containing a coin, a steel nail, and rice. I don't remember what these items symbolized, but I knew that they were important to the service. At home, my family set up an altar for my grandmother.
"For myself, I think that Chinese tradition is important to Chinese-Americans because you have to have
a way to remember your ancestors. In these practices, you should dissolve those negative feelings toward the deceased and use the opportunity to pay respect. Even though my own children are still young, I want to teach them about Chinese traditions. In the United States,
they have the opportunity to learn about other cultures. As Chinese in America, we try to bridge the gap between the two countries and pass on the good parts from China."
Joe Chou, April 2001
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