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Lunar New Year brings opportunity to support Asian-owned businesses

lunar new year
Posted at 9:52 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 21:52:21-05

CLEVELAND — The Lunar New Year is in full swing but many of the usual celebrations are on hold this year because of the pandemic.

Here in Northeast Ohio, the preparations have been happening for weeks leading up to the largest and most important holiday for several Asian cultures.

Karis Tzeng is the Director of Cleveland's AsiaTown Initiatives. She told News 5, "This past week a lot of families have been preparing for a new year, preparing special foods like dumplings and rice cakes and lots of other things. It's also a time to get rid of any bad energy from the past year."

Tzeng also pointed out a recent spike in crimes against Asian American elders, saying now is the perfect opportunity for northeast Ohioans to show their support for Asian-owned businesses. You can take part in tradition, visit businesses in AsiaTown, order some take-out and "stand up and speak up about what is happening," she said. "Speak up and stand up for people who are experiencing discrimination."

She told News 5 many businesses and owners have been struggling since the initial COVID-19 outbreak in China. But now they're looking forward to a brighter 2021. "Our community is really strong and resilient," she said. "A lot of people coming out to support businesses, businesses supporting each other. And so we just really encourage that and highlight that and want people to see the strength and vibrancy of our community too."

The Lunar New Year lasts until February 26.