Mel wrote a lovely post last week about taking a tradition she learned about when travelling in Italy, and bringing it into her family. It made me think about what I might have done if I had had children, what parts of my life in Thailand would have become part of their life in New Zealand. I know they’d have grown up eating Thai food, taking their shoes off at the door, and being told to “jai yen yen.” (Literally, it means cool heart, in practice, it means “calm down,” and my husband and I use it on each other frequently. It doesn't always work!) They might have learned all about Songkran, the Thai New Year water festival. It is celebrated in Thailand in April, the hottest part of the year there, and being soaked with water isn’t necessarily a bad thing then. April in New Zealand on the other hand is autumn, sometimes lovely Indian summer days, other times freezing temperatures and time to dig out the winter clothes. It would be hit and miss.
I also loved the Loy Krathong festival in Thailand. A November festival, again a bit weather dependent but less so, this one only requires some relatively calm water. Krathongs are little banana-leaf boats with a candle, that you float off into some water. It symbolises letting go of all your grudges, anger and negativity. Time to start afresh. I like that idea. I could do with starting afresh occasionally; holding on to negativity and grudges is not a healthy practice, but one I can find myself doing. I do find though that usually I am able to force myself to let them go (mostly) from time to time. I like to think I would have introduced the idea to my children.
Oddly, these thoughts don’t give me much sadness. Instead, it’s kind of nice to know my children’s lives would have been interesting and full, and perhaps a wee bit different, because of me.