Longevity Noodles

Nationality: Chinese/Russian

Primary Language: Chinese, English

Other Language(s): N/A

Age: 22

Residence: Los Angeles


“For birthdays, we like to celebrate by eating Yee Mein noodles because it’s like wishing someone a long and happy life! Because, y’know, the noodles are long.”


This informant is Chinese/Russian and moved to Los Angeles when she was young. She celebrates family birthdays by eating Yee Mein noodles.


This custom is celebrated by the informant and her Chinese family members. Eating long noodles is like wishing someone a long and happy life. In this tradition, there exists a very visual connection between the material and the spiritual. The custom is superstitious in nature. Noodles – a common food in the informant’s culture – are made special when they are physically longer than typical noodles. The difference in the physical constitution of the noodles symbolizes something new, different, and good. By celebrating this tradition on beloved family birthdays and wishing the birthday man or woman good fortune, celebrators are brought closer to one another on a spiritual and cultural level.