Date of Performance/Collection: 4/30/20
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Mandarin
Background: My informant is a friend of mine of Chinese heritage, though he grew up in the United States. The purpose of the call was specifically so that I could gather folklore from my informant, and they were aware about that as well.
Context: This conversation was recorded on a zoom meeting that we had on a Thursday morning. My informant is a friend of mine, and the conversation occurred in both of our rooms. The purpose of the call was specifically so that I could gather folklore from my informant, and they were aware about that as well. We did not talk about much other than folklore because my informant had a final immediately after our call. The main piece is made up of a transcription of our call.
Main Piece: Aight so I don’t think there’s like an official name for this but it’s like a it’s like a drive-through birthday party that has happened ever since coronavirus hit. So like one time, one of my friends birthdays was last week so then what happened was he organized it so that he like made a poster in his yard. And so me and a bunch of his friends and a bunch of his family, like pulled up in our cars and like we formed a line and we just like, we like as we drove by his house we would just honk we would like talk. And we would like have posters. We couldn’t do gifts because on the off-chance that we would be spreading coronavirus through the gifts but like some people had like cars that were like topless or like with a sunroof and like people would be standing through the sunroof and yelling and it was his overall a really good time
Thoughts: This is a bit of coronavirus folklore and discussed how coronavirus and the lack of in-person interaction has affected birthday celebrations. I think what is particularly interesting about this is that my informant did not know anything about the origin of the trend even though it has only popped up in the last two months or so. My informant says it is just ubiquitous now, which is fascinating and something that makes this celebration uniquely folklore, as it is ubiquitous without a discernible origin but almost universally adopted.