Photo by Natt Garun
My family never really had many traditions. Before moving to New York from Bangkok, we didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas, and after my father passed away a few days after my seventh birthday, it was hard to fully celebrate knowing that the week bookends itself with life and death.
After I met my boyfriend, though, we became fond of traditions. Even though he’d grown up with American holidays, he always felt like they were never truly his as opposed to his parents’. When we moved in together, we had vowed to start more as a newfound family, to have something we could call our own.
One tradition that our friends could always rely on was having hot pot on his birthday. It’s a Chinese meal consisting of a center pot of simmering…