Students Celebrate Moon Festival with Food and Performances
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 21:10
Last Friday evening, the Chinese Interregional Student Cultural Organization (CISCO) and the Chinese department co-sponsored the annual Chinese Moon Festival Celebration, which attracted over 100 students and faculty members, Chinese and non-Chinese, to the Campus Center to celebrate this “Chinese Thanksgiving.”
The Moon Festival, also called the Mid-Autumn Festival, is celebrated every year on the 15th day of the eighth month according to the Chinese calendar. This year, the festival falls on Sept. 30.
“[The] Moon Festival is one of the most important holidays for Chinese people because it is the time of the year when family gather together and celebrate a good harvest,” said CISCO Vice President Jinglin Huang ’14. “It is also CISCO’s responsibility to host such event – not only to celebrate the tradition, but also to educate the campus.”
Mooncake, a soft, doughy cake traditionally filled with red bean paste, was served at the event, a campus favorite in recent years. It has become the representation for the occasion. The mooncakes this year were sponsored by Dean of the College Maureen Mahoney’s office.
The celebration held in the Campus Center Carroll Room started off with a skit based on a traditional Chinese folktale – Chang E ascends to the Moon. Five students and two faculty members translated the story into English and presented it as a vivid show of the origin of the Festival.
Students and faculty in the Chinese department also contributed performances. First-year Chinese students recited and sang the poem “Jing Ye Si.” Second-year students sang a famous Taiwanese song “Baobei.” Third-year Chinese students performed a song called “Ao bao Xiang Hui,” written by minority Chinese citzens from Inner-Mongolia. As per Smith tradition, Elayna Lalikos ’13 performed a Kung Fu show, as other fourth-year Chinese students sang the song “Nan’er Dang Zi Qiang.”
Another special event from the Chinese department was East Asian Language and Literature Professor Sujane Wu’s well-received recital and singing of a traditional Chinese poem “Shui Diao Ge Tou.”
CISCO, as the host of this celebration, added a different flavor to the celebration as well. Rather than performing traditional Chinese songs and dance, members presented a modern Chinese way to honor the traditions.
Tiantian Zheng ’16 sang a popular Chinese song “Moonlight in the Town,” and two students performed a rap song about authentic Chinese food.
The show ended with a joint performance by the Chinese department faculty members and CISCO’s cabinet members, “Kang Ding Qing Ge.” Since the song is a well-known one, the audience had the opportunity to sing along with the performers.
“The show is the most successful I’ve ever attended for years,” said Wu. “We had so many audience [members], and they [were] all very engaged.”
“We were really afraid of running out of mooncake,” said CISCO Cultural Chair Lixin Lin ’14. “The line was really long and there were not enough chairs in the room. But I think at the end, we managed it really well. The audience was very cooperative and we had enough mooncake for everybody.”
“I totally had fun today,” said Meng Chen ’13. “It is a great way for the entire campus to know about the tradition of the Moon Festival and an opportunity for [an international] Chinese student like me to celebrate, even without family members being around.”