Importance of Chinese New Year in Keanu’s Life

A cultural event that impacted Keanu’s character development revolves around one stepfather out of four that he had during his middle childhood. After his parents divorced in 1966, Keanu’s mother moved the family to New York City, where she met Paul Aaron (a director for Broadway and Hollywood), and married him in 1970. When Keanu was 9, he participated several theatre productions such as “Damn Yankees”. At the age of 15, he worked on various of Aron’s films as a production assistant.

Keanu had dream was to become a professional ice hockey player for the Canadian Olympic team. However, when he was 15, he decided to become an actor. The influence of his stepfather Paul at that time, made Keanu rethink his goals/aspirations in life and because of that he is now one of the most recognized actors in Hollywood.

There is a difference between Keanu’s turn of events and my peer’s situation. Of course, there are a lot of my peers whose parents have divorced and engaged in new relationships however, I do not think I have heard of one of my peer’s stepfather being a Broadway and Hollywood director.

Another cultural event that impacted Keanu’s character development has to do with his ethnicity. Since Keanu’s grandparents (who were of Chinese descent) were there to raise him and his sisters, Keanu grew up around Chinese culture. A popular holiday in Chinese culture is the legendary Chinese New Year. I would say the equivalent event for my peers and myself included would be Christmas (although in China Christmas is not that popular of an event).

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Although these two events are important and outstanding, there are differences between them since each is embedded with its own culture.

“Traditionally Chinese New Year lasts about two weeks, while the Christmas holiday season is similar in length not a lot of people celebrate the it for the full time period. During Christmas, it is accustomed for Christians/Catholics to attend mass to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. In contrast, the Chinese New Year is welcomed with loud music, festivals, and a lot of characters such as the Chinese New Year animals. Christmas food varies by family, but it typically includes turkey, bread, nuts, Christmas punch and cakes. Chinese tend to serve food that have special meaning. For example, a common item served during this holiday are dumplings which are shaped to look like ancient Chinese coins which symbolize wealth and prosperity.

In the West, kids write a card to Santa Claus and put it on the Christmas tree and on December 25th Santa Claus leaves the presents under the tree for the children. During Chinese New Year, instead of gifts, Chinese kids receive red enveloped which have money on the inside given to them by adults (relatives, family friends)” (Hinsbergh, 2020, pg.1). The psychosocial stage involved is industry vs. inferiority. “Children begin to compare themselves with their peers to see where they “stand” in comparison with their classmates, friends, and same age relatives. They either develop a sense of pride and accomplishment in their schoolwork, sports, social activities, and family life” (Lumen, n.d., pg.1). Since Keanu’s interaction with both his stepfather and grandparents enriched him, Keanu had pride in them as well as himself and thus ended up in the industry side of the industry vs. inferiority stage.

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Importance of Chinese New Year in Keanu’s Life. (2022, May 08). Retrieved from

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