Beijing Youjian – 100 Days Party

Before I show today’s picture, I want to assure you that, no matter how startling it may seem, that no babies, 100 days old or otherwise, were injured before, during, or after the taking of said picture. I must also caution you not to try this at home, or at any Chinese restaurant at which you might be dining.

Now, with that out of the way, here it is:

Yesterday, we (as in Shanshan’s family and I) gathered to celebrate her niece’s first hundred days of life. The basic description of such gatherings is:

  • Host reserves a room or large table at a fine restaurant
  • Host supplies plenty of great food and alcohol
  • Guests bring hong bao (red envelopes) with money for the host
  • Elders sit at one table whilst the youngers 🙂 sit at another
  • Hours are then happily spent eating and talking

Toward the beginning of the meal, Shanshan asked me if I wanted to hold her niece. I said no. What I didn’t tell her is that I knew that me doing so would become an instant photo-op… the Lao Wei (foreigner) holding the baby… and would distract from the celebration. I also didn’t tell her that I was afraid of having the baby cry in my arms, that being photographed, and part of the family story for perpetuity.

Later in the meal, I was again asked if I wanted to hold her. Knowing that I would only be postponing the inevitable, I said yes. And, bam, the chaos soon ensued. Cameras and cellphone came out of nowhere (or, in the case of this shot, grabbed by my wife from my right back pocket).  I figured I might as well give the audience what they came for, and decided to flash the V sign that is often seen in Chinese tourist pictures. With that out of the way, I quickly handed her off to another relative.

(She did end-up crying quite a lot during the meal. Shanshan and I both were glad that it didn’t happen whilst I was holding her.)