Yesterday we went to the Wampanoag powwow. I've said on this blog before that we wanted to give AwesomeCloud a greater awareness of culture and ethnicity than just Chinese/White American. Plus, he really likes drums. (Unfortunately, while we could hear drums, we never caught a good view of the drummers playing them.)
And there was dancing in traditional regalia (NOT costumes!!!) and handmade crafts and ethnic food. They managed to avoid having any silly concessions such as "Indian pizza" although some booths were selling linguica, hot dogs, and French fries. And I'm not sure the stuffed quahogs were an authentic Wampanoag recipe. But Rick said they were delicious.
The children danced first, acting out the Wampanoag creation story. Then all the dancers came out in a grand procession. There were troupes from Toronto, the Andes, Arizona, and more.
AwesomeCloud enjoyed himself immensely. He even tried the two-step dance, although his enthusiasm was greater than his accuracy. It was also very hot, sitting in the direct sunlight in 80 degrees for hours and hours, so at times he was more obsessed with stealing my drink than with the dances. (He had his own drink. Tossing his sippy cup aside and stealing my drink is common behavior for him, and he did drink his own drink quite a bit, too.)
Some other kids came and joined us at the end, and the little boy taught AwesomeCloud how to drum along to the music by tapping the rope with a stick.
As we were leaving, we were already talking about coming back next year. I think that would be good for Cloud's education. The Wampanoag cover many ethnicities due to assimilation and intermarrying, and some no longer look very Indian at all, but AwesomeCloud was the only one there who looked remotely Asian. But that's a good thing - the powwow shows him that white culture is not the only game in town, and that he is not the only "other."
Also, if anybody else walks up to him and says, "I hate China! Free Tibet!" he can reply, "Before you get into that, you have your own history of genocide to make amends for. And by the way, so far you've really dropped the ball there."
Or he could say, "You're a poopyface." Either one is fine.
PS: This post might sound a little flippant. I did not mean it to be so. I guess I'm a cynical person on some level, even as I learn to be culturally sensitive. The Wampanoag people are my neighbors, and I respect them greatly.