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Chinese Cultural Club to host Mid-Autumn Festival

| Thursday, September 12, 2019

Saint Mary’s Chinese Culture Club is preparing to host its annual Mid-Autumn Festival on Thursday evening.

Senior Shiyi Wang, president of the club, said celebration of the festival is not just confined to China.

“Countries that were influenced by China, including Korea and Japan, also hold mid-autumn festivals,” Wang said. 

The celebrations will take place Thursday from 5-8 p.m. During the celebrations, friends and family gather to enjoy moon cakes, music, poetry, games and dancing. A welcoming atmosphere, much like the one experienced at Thanksgiving, is promoted by the emphasis on enjoying traditional food with family members.

Siqin Yang, the assistant director for global education at Saint Mary’s and one of the advisors of the Chinese Culture Club, said the festival is meant to be welcoming to all.

“The meal often takes place at a round table to promote inclusivity,” she said.

Like Thanksgiving, the mid-autumn festival also began as a harvest celebration. The community’s good fortune was celebrated and stories were retold.

This theme of spending time with family and friends emphasizes community; the core value of learning that Saint Mary’s College is focusing on this year.

“I feel like we should keep our curiosity for different cultures … and appreciate the beauty in human beings,” Yang said. “This will lead to more joy.”

Unlike other events put on by the Chinese Culture Club, such as China Night, a Chinese New Year celebration, the mid-autumn festival is geared specifically toward the students of Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross. The event is being held in Spes Unica in the hope that the study space will draw people and promote awareness. In addition, the atrium will provide plenty of room for activities that will be part of the festival. 

Senior Mia Washington, along with a local high school student and several friends, will be performing the song “The Moon Represents my Heart.” A guest performer from South Bend will introduce students to a traditional instrument called the genzheng. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to participate in yoga, a game of telephone with Chinese phrases and a game of musical chairs to Chinese music. There will be moon cakes and other snacks.

Senior Yijie Ren, a member of the Chinese Culture Club, said club members hope the event leads to a sense of inclusion.

“[We want] to enhance diversity and integration, and to celebrate this special day with both Chinese international students and local students,” she said.

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