CNY Parade helped re-establish my love for Lunar New YearBy Tiffany Pham, T-Mobile
As a young girl growing up in San Francisco, I have so many vivid memories of the Lunar New Year. It all began with my family preparing the house until it was spotless, since we were not allowed to sweep at the start of the year, because it is said that you will sweep away your wealth. Similarly, my siblings and I were told to wash our hair the night before, because we didn’t want to wash away our forthcoming good luck. I also recall the celebration of the new year bringing the distinct smell of incense all around the house as my mom and aunties could be heard “constantly shooing” excited kids from the kitchen. And, of course, all the children waiting for family to arrive to receive their red envelope 红包 (“Lai-see”) and open them all up at the end of day and count all our lucky money! As we celebrate the Chinese New Year, I’m reminded of memories my family created, especially my grandmothers who kept the family together.
Growing up, as a first-generation Chinese American, I didn’t quite understand what all the Lunar New Year fuss was about – even if I did enjoy it. It wasn’t until I participated in the 2019 San Francisco Lunar New Year Parade where I felt the sense of pride and community in the city while witnessing all the beauty the festivities entailed, from costumes to dancing. Beyond the parade itself, I saw and felt how much the Lunar New Year is a time to celebrate our culture, give thanks to our ancestors, and to wish both family & fellow neighbors good fortune and health as they usher in the new year. It’s an overwhelming sense of togetherness & gratitude. Now married to my wonderful husband, Jason, I appreciate how his family continues to share with me how the Chinese culture is so rich in history and has so much meaning. When my in-laws tell me those stories, I think back to those familiar feelings of joy and happiness from all the memories created by the people I love during this time of the year. And this year, we hope to start our family and begin making similar memories around the Lunar New Year! It is said, a baby born in the year of 2022 will be a Water Tiger, with traits including being smart, humorous, and good at socializing, and usually having good luck in making money with a strong ability to adapt to new things. I can’t think of a better wish for our family this new year.
Working at T-Mobile has certainly helped re-establish my love for celebrating the Lunar New Year even more by providing myself and my peers a platform to share, learn, discover and grow with and from our culturally diverse communities and backgrounds. Over 13 years with T-Mobile, I can say I’ve never worked for a company who so passionately recognizes that people come first, while putting Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the heart of what the company does for its employees and the communities we serve across the country. T-Mobile doesn’t just talk the talk with diversity, equity and inclusion either; we are about it. As an employee, I am so proud to work for a company who invests in a culture where employees can feel included, as well as develop ourselves by learning from others. This Lunar New Year, I hope we can all realize that we are all rich in experiences, and those are meant to be shared with each other! And at T-Mobile, I am grateful to be a part of a company that celebrates those experience that make us all who we are. Happy Lunar New Year!