Redefining the Asian American Experience through Lunar New Year 

Welcoming a Future of Unlimited Possibilities in Chinatown Asset 1

With the smell of incense filling the San Francisco air and a sea of red and gold decorations consuming my neighborhood, I always knew when Lunar New Year was on its way. These were tell-tale signs that it was time to get my cousins, aunts, and uncles together and go to Po Po’s (grandma’s) house. During this time of year, the house was always filled with laughter, the smell of Po Po’s infamous cooking, and of course, the sound of KTSF’s Lunar New Year Parade programming playing in the background. 

It always seemed to be raining or too cold on the day of the parade, so my family would opt to stay in and watch the parade instead. As long as I was with my family, got my lai-see (red envelopes) and could stuff my mouth with as much nin gou (new year rice cake) as I wanted, it didn’t matter where we were.

Now looking back, I simply defined Lunar New Year as a time for my extended family, food and lai-see when I was growing up. However, after having a family of my own and being able to participate in-person for the first time at the San Francisco Lunar New Year Parade through Comcast, I have re-defined it with a greater purpose. It is a time to honor our culture and heritage together as we welcome a new year filled with hope and prosperity with our extended, extended family: the community.

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Dillon (left) taking a photo with the Comcast team at 2022 CNY Parade in San Francisco.

Experiencing the parade firsthand with Comcast for the past three years has been a surreal adventure. Rather than watching the parade floats go by on the TV screen, I am now a part of the parade, standing and waving to my parents from the Comcast float with my family and my peers from Comcast’s Asian Pacific American Employee Resource Group. We stand together proud of our heritage, our resilience and strength in the face of adversity and excited for the new year that lies ahead.

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Comcast APA ERG members posing in front of Comcast’s 2019 CNY parade float.

It is truly a full circle moment, and I am grateful to share it with my wife Trish and my daughter Nadia each year. Because of this, Nadia has a deeper understanding of the Lunar New Year than I did growing up. From watching lion dances to eating daan tat (egg tarts) to visiting the booths at the festival, she learns from experience about the underlying symbolism behind the zodiac, the different elements of Chinese culture, and the multi-faceted aspects of being Asian American. Seeing the community unite to celebrate together shows her how culture and community transcend adversity. The best part is that I am continuing to learn and grow alongside her year after year. Nadia was born in 2011, the last time it was the Year of the Rabbit, so the 2023 celebration and the return of the Rabbit is especially meaningful to us.

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Dillon enjoying the parade from the bleachers with his wife Trish and his daughter Nadia.

Thanks to Comcast, my family gets to experience our culture and Lunar New Year in a whole new way. As an employee, I am proud to work for a company who invests in an organizational culture where employees can both be and belong. Comcast continuously encourages employees to bring their authentic selves to connect the different facets of our identity to our work by creating a platform for us to learn, share, and explore our cultural backgrounds to better connect our communities. At Comcast, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is not just a pillar, it is part of who we are and how we do things.

On behalf of myself and Comcast, we wish everyone a prosperous Year of the Rabbit filled with good fortune, health and hope!