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Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are not just words but values that are exemplified through our culture at Cadence. In the DEI@Cadence blog series, you’ll find a community where employees share their perspectives and experiences. By providing a glimpse of their personal stories, we celebrate our One Cadence—One Team culture and the importance of sustaining it as we learn from diverse perspectives.
I’m delighted to announce that Cadence launched a new U.S. Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Inclusion Group in May 2023. I’m honored to co-lead this group with Claire Ying, software engineering group director in the System Verification Group. The AAPI Inclusion Group aims to foster a sense of belonging and appreciation for our diverse AAPI community at Cadence. We invite all employees to join us as One Team and celebrate the rich cultural heritage that our members bring to the table.
As part of AAPI Heritage Month in May, I would like to introduce you to one of the significant events in Chinese culture: the Dragon Boat Festival (also known as the Duanwu Festival). This festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. It involves various activities and practices, but it is best known for its dragon boat races.
The Dragon Boat Festival dates back over 2,000 years to the Zhou Dynasty and is linked to the legendary poet and statesman Qu Yuan. Qu Yuan was a popular and loyal minister who fought against corruption and advocated for political reform. However, his ideas were rejected by the ruling class, and he was exiled. In despair over the state of the country, Qu Yuan drowned himself in the Miluo River on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in 278 BC. Upon hearing the news, the local people rushed to the river in their boats to try to save him and retrieve his body. They beat drums and threw rice dumplings (called “zongzi”) into the water to keep fish and evil spirits away from his body. These actions are believed to be the origin of dragon boat races and the tradition of eating rice dumplings.
Today’s dragon boat races feature teams of rowers in long, narrow boats decorated like dragons. The boats have drummers who set the pace for rowers with a rhythmic beat. These races symbolize the attempts to save Qu Yuan and are held in rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water across China and in many other countries with Chinese communities.
Zongzi are sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves. The zongzi are filled with different ingredients, such as meat, beans, nuts, or sweet fillings like red bean paste, wrapped in bamboo leaves and tied up with string, then steamed or boiled for several hours, resulting in a delicious, glutinous treat. The shapes of zongzi vary and range from being triangular/tetrahedral in the south to an elongated cylinder in northern China. Eating zongzi is done to commemorate the rice dumplings thrown into the river to prevent fish from eating Qu Yuan’s body.
During my childhood, our family gathered together to make zongzi with different fillings, including both sweet red bean fillings as well as savory fillings with pork belly and salty eggs. After wrapping the zongzi, we cooked them in a big pot and the whole house was filled with fresh leafy aroma. Everyone waited around so they could be the first taster for their favorite fillings; these remain treasured moments of my childhood memory as zongzi are usually only made once a year because of the time and effort involved.
The Dragon Boat Festival holds significance beyond its tribute to Qu Yuan; it serves as a jubilant tribute to Chinese heritage, solidarity, and the bonds of friendship. This joyous event unites families and communities in embracing animated and dynamic customs, demonstrated with a snapshot of my daughter proudly holding the zongzi I crafted at home. We are determined to uphold this cherished tradition in our family for countless generations to come.
Ceci Yin, VP of Finance, Global Sales Finance Team