In truth, there nothing quite like watching mothers (or grandmothers), wear the traditional, and quite sexy, “chi pao,” strut across the stage and then very suggestively pause for the audience. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not the American Idol beauty, the superficial obsession with skin tone that floods our television and cable advertising. It is true beauty, beauty in the most profound sense. Mother’s Day is their time to shine; for all their lives they have been working, cooking, cleaning, and whatever else it takes to raise a family. When have they ever had the time to be appreciated, to wear something nice and have people applaud, and finally, to be recognized?
That’s what we all thought as we walked into Kissena Park. It was a hot summer day and most of us would’ve rather wasted the day away in our air conditioned homes and apartments. But not Ms. Chou; there she was, wiping sweat from her brow with a towel around her neck and pushing a shovel into the hard dirt to make space to plant a young sapling.