The Year of the Rabbit invites us to consider and practice ideals of kindness. These values which this Lunar New Year celebrates guide the work we do as public employees and labor members. As more than a billion people across the world gather with family, friends, and loved ones we also share in the celebration of the Lunar New Year and eagerly turn the pages of the calendar forward from the Year of the Tiger to the Year of the Rabbit.
Tragically, this Lunar New Year was marred by violence in Los Angeles. Ten people were killed and another ten were wounded in a shooting that cast a pall over what should be a celebratory occasion. While we do not know the motive of this particular violence, any violence that uniquely affects a particular community is abhorrent and heartbreaking. AFT-Maryland stands firmly against Asian hate. We reject any effort to ruin what is a beautiful season of celebration that turns our attention toward the best the new year has to offer. This striking tragedy reminds us to hold dear our loved ones, gather with them, not only out of formality but because connection to our family and community is deeply important. The celebration of family and wishes of good fortune should remind us that family and community are not isolated moments but are rather a way of life. Family gatherings where older generations share wisdom and material gifts with the younger generation, optimism about the coming future and hopes for prosperity mark the celebration of the New Year similarly as it marks other new year celebrations across the world.
In celebration of this Lunar New Year it is our hope that feasts include fish to signify the bounty we desire for our communities, and delicious dessert of glutinous rice balls in sweet soup to exemplify the completeness of family. May we remember those who were taken from us too soon by a gunman’s bullet, but more pointedly, may we all have what we need in abundance and have our full family with us to celebrate the abundant harvest. Happy Lunar New Year.