Share Your Lunar New Year “Traditions: New and Old” with CAAM and StoryCorps

"Good Health and Good Fortune." Photo courtesy Kenny Louie on Flickr/Creative Commons.
The recordings will culminate in a special series of oral history devoted to Lunar New Year. Come in with someone you know, someone who's important to you in some way, and share your story.

“When I was in my parents’ homeland and it was new year, I remember I had to go all around the neighborhood with my parents and sister to say ‘Happy New Year’ to all our community elders. During every visit, they’d be like, ‘Gong Xi Fat Choy!’ and then I’d be like, ‘Gong Xi Fat Choy!’ and then we’d go inside, sit down, drink some tea, make some chit chat, and then I’d get a foongbao (red envelope). And then that would happen all over again, until we visited everyone. Today, since I’m so far away from my family, I don’t do anything like that anymore. It feels a little like a loss. But, now that I’m older, I also get to give foongbaos to people in my life. Except, instead of money, for a variety of reasons, I put love notes in them.”  – Geraldine Ah-Sue

CAAM is proud to partner with StoryCorps in San Francisco for a second year, in time to celebrate the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Monkey! Last year, we collected stories on food and the Lunar New Year. This year, throughout the month of January and leading up to Monday, February 8th (Lunar New Year day), the two organizations are collecting stories about Lunar New Year Traditions: New and Old.

Did you have to help clean the house when you were a kid? What about today? Will you be ringing the new year with the sound of popping fireworks, or did the sound terrify you when you were younger? What are your memories of new year dinners from when you were a kid, and how have those adapted to now? Do you give red envelopes out, or changed the tradition to celebrate people instead of wealth and money? We want to hear your stories!

The recordings will culminate in a special series of oral history devoted to Lunar New Year. Come in with someone you know, someone who’s important to you in some way, and share your story. All participants will go home with a copy of the recording on a CD, which you are free to make copies of and have others listen to as well. Perhaps you can share it during New Year dinner! You’ll have the option to archive it in the Library of Congress, as well as make it available for consideration to produce and broadcast on NPR and/or KALW. Some of the stories will also be selected for sharing at

To make a reservation, use this link and be sure to write “CAAM” in the Notes section.

Questions? Email Momo Chang at momo[at]

About CAAM
The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. We do this by funding, producing, distributing and exhibiting works in film, television and digital media. For 35 years, CAAM has exposed audiences to new voices and communities, advancing our collective understanding of the American experience through programs specifically designed to engage the Asian American community and the public at large.

About StoryCorps
StoryCorps is a national oral history project working to record, share and preserve stories from people of all backgrounds and beliefs across the country. We are dedicated to building a national archive that reflects the diversity and richness of our communities. We believe that every story matters and that our stories deserve to be told in our own voices.

StoryCorps partners with the Library of Congress to archive stories, as well as National Public Radio to broadcast stories. In addition, at the end of each recording, participants always receive a CD copy of their conversations that they are free to make copies of and share with loved ones. Participants are free to record in any language that they would like, and record any story they wish to preserve.

The StoryCorps recording itself is a recording between two people who are important to each other in some way. Participants record a 40 minute recording, again, about anything that they would like to talk about. A StoryCorps staff member will be with participants for the whole time to orient them through the process and offer support during the recording. After the recording, we take pictures, go over Release Forms, and then participants go home with their CD that they are free to make copies of and share with others.

You can check out StoryCorps here, and listen to some stories that have aired on NPR here.