Marcus Jones (left) showing off traditional Chinese fashion at the Mid-Autumn Festival’s fashion show. | Sydney Rose/The Cougar
A time to get together, enjoy nature and eat lots of moon cake, the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated at the University with the help of the Chinese Studies Program.
The event was filled with student performances, traditional food items and chances to learn more about Chinese culture. The event was managed by the Director of the Chinese Studies Program Xiaohong Sharon Wen.
“We have these moon cakes to celebrate the harvest, it is a little bit like Thanksgiving,” Wen said. “The moon is the fullest of all year. It is really a celebration of the harvest and most importantly it is about the family getting together.”
Wen has been working as a part of the program for 26 years and said that they started putting on the Mid-Autumn Festival around the time she began.
The Chinese Studies Program also hosts a spring celebration of the Chinese New Year.
Many students with Chinese majors and minors were in attendance, and some were there to put on performances like public health and Chinese sophomore Queen Epomba.
Epomba performed a dance like the one that she does for competitions. There were other performances including painting, singing and tricks for the Chinese yo-yo.
“These professors put in a lot of work to make sure the event was a success,” said education and Chinese junior Roy Hsu. “We get to entertain and also learn Chinese at the same time.”
Hsu sang a song called “It’s Very Hard to Love Someone” in front of the crowd.
Another main source of entertainment for the event was the student fashion show where the UH students involved in the program and enrolled in the Chinese classes wore traditional fashion and showed it all off.
“I’ve always loved different languages and different cultures, and I started exploring China my freshman year of college,” said Chinese and psychology senior Karis Roberts, who sang during the last Mid-Autumn Festival. “I wanted to learn the language and not have culture shock when I go over there.”
Both Hsu and Roberts said that their favorite parts of the event were the performances and the food.
Some of the food that was provided were westernized baked goods, while other dishes were traditional and homemade. There were plates of youtaio, dumplings, baozi and, many different types of moon cake. There was even a tea set filled with a traditional Chinese tea.
The Chinese Studies Program is growing and extending as the years go by, with two new professors this semester, and additional classes like Chinese film, literature and linguistics.
“We would like to extend our program and recruit more Chinese majors and minors,” Wen said. “Students are not only competent in the language itself, but also in knowledge and understanding of China and Asian countries.”