Opportunity to Connect to my Ancestral Heritage

Carlino1
Carlino1

Opportunity to Connect to my Ancestral Heritage

Carlino Ruiz

My earliest memory of the Chinese New Year Parade was with my family as a kid.  I remember lots of firecrackers and a dancing dragon.  Fast forward to 2017 and I started volunteering as a Parade Marshal.  At the time I worked for UPS, which was a sponsor of the Parade and I got an email looking for volunteers. 

I am of East Asian descent, both of my parents are immigrants, and both my parents’ cultures are heavily influenced by Chinese history.  I thought of this event as an opportunity to connect to my ancestral heritage.  The Chinese have a large global diaspora and each expatriate community retains a strong cultural affiliation to our past. 

The San Francisco Chinese New Parade is one of the oldest and largest celebrations of our culture outside of Asia.  Seeing children’s faces light up when they see a float is worth all the hard work we put in each year.  I am proud to participate in this tradition and grateful that many generations of families have the opportunity to witness this yearly celebration.  I guess what keeps me coming back each year is maintaining our cultural traditions and I believe that people have a responsibility to engage in community service.

I think what I appreciate about the parade is that, although we are an expatriate community, the participants in the parade and the volunteers come from many non-Asian communities, yet we share the same desire and appreciation for intercultural participation and bridging communication and social barriers.


Interested in volunteering? Email us at volunteers@chineseparade.com