By Qin Sun Stubis
In only two years, I will have spent as many Christmases in America as Chinese New Years in China. In terms of time, I’ll finally be achieving equilibrium between East and West, although, speaking from my heart, I’ve never felt more American.
As an American, I exercise my voting rights and proudly cast my ballot for the next president of the United States every four years. As an American, I embrace all cultures and appreciate what everyone contributes to this land of the free. To me, America is a glorious melting pot where cultural diversity is celebrated and everyone is allowed to have a voice.
I’m a proud American – Chinese American. Even my holiday celebrations boast two traditions and cover two continents. Every year, I look forward to my American Christmas（圣诞节) and Chinese Spring Festival（春节), for they both make me feel complete as a true American.
Though varied in ritual and style, I find my holiday traditions from two lands fundamentally the same: They are all about family and festivity. Just as Chinese holidays celebrate reunion (团圆) and harmony (和睦), American holidays, too, are about gathering and spending meaningful time together. Whether unwrapping a Christmas gift or receiving a Chinese red envelope, having a roast turkey or making a Peking duck, we all gather together with our loved ones and show our appreciation of one another.
America welcomes people and holidays from around the world. She makes everyone feel special because She takes pride in all her peoples, no matter their color or race. So, this holiday season, celebrate the richness of our American heritage, celebrate our cultural diversity, celebrate our America!
You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(originally published in The Santa Monica Star)