After reading “The Jade Peony” by Wayson Choy, students in Mr. Ward’s 8th period class were assigned to look at their own families and write an essay about one of their family’s traditions.
What sparked the assignment was the interaction between Sek Lung and his grandmother as they spent time with each other working on wind chimes. It was an activity that drew them close as they built special wind chimes. The cultural aspect represented in the story is that a person would build their own special wind chime that would only be hung up after their death. The person’s spirit would see and hear the wind chime and be able to say goodbye properly.
From the discussions of students, there are many families who are building their own special times with traditions. The students listed many common traditions, such as holiday celebrations and family dinners. A few other traditions included camping, Quinceañera’s, travelling, and eating grapes at midnight.
Whatever the tradition, it was obvious from the student’s writing that the family interactions were important and memorable.