This post was sponsored by Ling Ling, all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
We live in a very small, rural part of the country. The closest sizable city is about an hour away from us, so we typically don’t get a rush of people eager to come and live in our community. The majority of the people that live here have been a part of this community their whole lives, and they have roots that run deeper than any oak tree could ever have. I’ve heard people joke that there are more cows living here than people, and the more I think about that statement, the more I think that actually might be true!
Living in an area where people walk and talk just like you is all well and good, but it can certainly be easy to lose sight of the fact that the world is a really big place, and things beyond the county line are often so beautifully different from the things that we know. I was 14 years old when I left Alabama to travel overseas for a month. To say that experience was eye opening is completely an understatement. I was old enough to understand that the customs and lifestyles I was seeing were completely different from my own, and I felt like a whole new world was unfolding right before my eyes. There is so much value in learning about a culture that is not your own, and with the Chinese New Year approaching on February 5th, I decided take the opportunity to introduce a different culture to my oldest daughter.
Because she is so young, I decided to pick just a few areas to talk about so that it wasn’t overwhelming to her. We rely so heavily on our 5 senses to learn new things, so to introduce aspects of Chinese culture to her, I decided to focus only on seeing, hearing, and – my personal favorite – tasting!
To kick off our studies, we headed to the public library to find a few books pertaining to Chinese New Year and the culture. Next, we stopped by our local grocery store to pick up a few packages of Ling Ling Potstickers to help us get a taste of the delicious cuisine! I also found a few resources online to let us listen to a few traditional Chinese instruments and songs that are frequently played during the new year celebration.
We found these Ling Ling Potstickers in the freezer section of our grocery store. I picked up a bag each of the Chicken & Vegetable and Vegetable varieties to try, and preparing them was very simple. We learned that potstickers are a Chinese dumpling filled with meat and vegetables, and they are frequently eaten during the Chinese New Year as a symbol of prosperity and wealth.
Once the potstickers were cooked and cooled enough to eat, I presented them to my daughter and taught her about using chopsticks instead of a fork to eat with. This, of course, was a topic we’ll be sure to revisit when she can get a better grasp of how to hold them, but she was completely tickled watching her Mommy eat with “wooden sticks!” The Ling Ling Potstickers were absolutely scrumptious, and each variety came with a delicious dipping sauce.
I was particularly a fan of them because they utilize clean ingredients, freshly sourced vegetables and savory proteins. They’re quick, convenient and very tasty, so they’re perfect for busy families to enjoy or for anyone looking to enjoy an authentic Asian recipe bursting with flavor!
Throughout the week, we’ve been talking a little bit each day about Chinese New Year and about the traditions and customs we’ve been learning about. My daughter and I read over the books we found at our local library multiple times a day, and she’s grown particularly fond of one book about a silly runaway wok. She ooh-s and aah-s over the colorful pictures of dragons and cherry blossom trees, and I’ve even caught her tracing over Chinese symbols with her finger a few times!
Introducing new cultures to children can be a really fun and refreshing activity, and it can be really easy to do when you utilize the right tools! Starting out with just a few things such as trying a new food, listening to music and reading a few books or watching movies is a great place to start. If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate Chinese New Year from your own home, pick up a few packages of Ling Ling Potstickers to get a taste of how beautiful the culture is. As the Chinese New Year approaches (beginning on February 5th,) and the year of the pig begins, we wish you a year full of wealth, happiness and good fortune!