Dim Sum Birthday Celebration

Informant: N.N

Nationality: American

Primary Language: English

Other Language(s): N/A

Age: 19

Occupation: Student

Residence: Burbank, CA

Performance Date: 04/26/2024

N.N is 19 years old and is from Burbank, CA. I am close friends with his brother, so N.N is an acquaintance of mine.  I asked him if there are any festivals or rituals he participates in regularly. He tells me about a life cycle celebration / birthday ritual that his family does every year for his uncle’s birthday. 

“Oh, so in my family, we have this tradition that’s all about celebrating my Uncle B.’s birthday. It all started back when I was around 10. My mom offered we do this for Uncle B. and we just kept doing it. Every year we all get together and head out for dim sum around the afternoon. Honestly, it’s less about the birthday cake and more about stuffing ourselves with all kinds of dumplings. For me, it’s just a great excuse to eat good food and catch up with everyone.”

I think that this tradition of them getting together for dim sum is really about connecting with their Chinese heritage through a simple yet meaningful ritual. It’s also lets them bond over food and celebrate someone’s birthday together which is always a meaningful way to appreciate the simple joys of being with your family. Uncle B., from my knowledge, always played a big part in raising his nephews like N.N, and now that he has his own kids too, the family would want to show appreciation for him through this birthday ritual.