An “East Meets West” 1st Birthday for My Son Asher!


Keeping Traditions Alive

On October 14th, 2017, we celebrated my son’s 1st birthday. His name is Asher Saxon Hobba. For his birthday, we did a little “East Meets West” theme. I was born in Malaysia and am half-Malay and half-Chinese; and my husband is Caucasian American. It was important to me for Asher to know his Chinese roots, so we incorporated the centuries old Chinese tradition of ZhuaZhou (抓周, zhuā zhōu, meaning something along the lines of “first birthday grab”), with the American tradition of the Smash Cake, for his 1st birthday.

Here is a little bit about the Chinese tradition, Zhuazhou:

Zhuazhou is an ancient Chinese tradition that dates back to the Song dynasty (960-1279). It is a ceremony when parents place an assortment of articles in front of their child, and the child is to choose from the articles. What the child grabs first is said to determine his or her future inclination and capabilities. In the past, ZhuaZhou was a big deal and believed to reveal an infant’s personality traits and predict his future career. Today, it’s more for fun! Asher went straight for the baseball, which means he will be a professional athlete when he grows up! 🙂


It was a very special event because in the Chinese culture, the first birthday is one of the most important birthdays to be celebrated, and my mom (who passed away 4 years ago), would’ve been really proud that I was able to keep up with the tradition. She never got to meet my son (he’s my first born) but I know she was smiling down at us that day.




Here are all the vendors we used:

Design and event planning – Rekindle Creative

Sweets (cakes and hand-painted French macarons) – Merely Sweets

Acai Bowl – Amazebowls

Custom “Asher” laser cut sign and “Asher Is One” cake-topper – LettersToU

Photography – Jordan Ring Photography 


We hosted the birthday party at our house in Redondo Beach. It was attended by about 100 guests (70 adults and 30 kids ranging from 5 months old to 14 years old).

-Suhaila Hobba


Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We won't blow up your inbox. We promise. But we will send an occasional newsletter with must-do Los Angeles events & information.