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Chinese instructor hosts mid-autumn celebration

Missouri Western took part in bringing a little bit of Chinese tradition to its students and members of the community.

Visiting Chinese instructor Juan Wang held the Mid-Autumn Celebration of Harvest and Family Reunion on Monday, Oct 1.

The event was open to the public, and over 180 guests crammed into the small room of Murphy 224 to witness the events that took place.

“The festival is almost equal to the American Thanksgiving,” Wang said. “People get together for a type of long weekend celebration for successful and bountiful harvests, plus for family reunions.”

There are three months to every season in Chinese culture. Oct 1. is in the middle of the fourth season.

“This is a golden season where there is a lot of harvest,” Wang said. “This is also a key time when family members get together.”

The Chinese language and culture class just started last year. Wang wanted to celebrate this day and share it with others in hopes of educating those who attended in Chinese culture and traditions.

All of the hosting, introductions, poems, songs performed and the stories told were all presented by students of the beginning and advanced Chinese class. There were also a few games that the children present played. There were traditional Chinese foods and teas served including moon cake.

According to chinese culture, family members would send out round sweet cakes, comparable to our pound cakes, to relatives. These moon cakes signified the best of wishes during family reunion.

There was a love song performed by Fred Weems, former student of both of the Chinese classes. Not only did Weems sing the song, he also strummed along on his guitar.

“Affectionate relationships are emphasized during this festival,” Weems said. “This is a very ancient holiday, where people who are separated can look at the moon and know the other person would be thinking of them.”

Weems explained that a great deal of the poetry dates back thousands of years in Chinese culture and relates the closeness of relationships during the celebrations. This was at a time, of course, that no phones or internet was around to keep in contact with one another.

There was a lot of history, legend, stories and games woven into this celebration that many people enjoyed.

“This event was pretty cool,” music major Sara Mathews said. “Getting to learn the history and legends was fun. Plus the food, but that’s kind of obvious.”

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