“Start Your Year with Something Sweet”


The lunar new year has come and gone, but Charlene Cheung’s essay about what Chinese New Year celebrations meant to her growing up is still ripe for reading.

It’s a lovingly rendered flashback to when Cheung was still eager to please her parents and bring a traditional Chinese doll to show-and-tell at school.

You love showing off your traditions to your classmates, and you still have that belief that others are genuinely interested. You’ll naively hold onto that belief for too long. Hold onto it and believe it, though, for as long as possible.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →