Bamboo Rhythms: A Vibrant Day at the 21st Washington Chinese Cultural Festival

It was a bright and sunny Saturday on the 2nd of September, 2023, and it was also the day of the 21st Washington Chinese Cultural Festival. Pennsylvania Avenue on the Capitol Hill of Washington DC was filled with an enormous crowd, singing and dancing to feel the Chinese culture, and included many food selections. Since the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between China and the United States in 1999, the Washington Chinese Cultural Festival has risen in popularity. This year was the largest Chinese-themed offline gathering in the United States since COVID. This is the first time that a main road has been specially assigned to hold the event. President Biden, the mayor of DC, and numerous others sent congratulatory messages. Then the new ambassador Xie Feng delivered an inspiring speech. This event was completely funded and hosted by various non-governmental organizations in Washington, including the American Chinese School I attend.

        I have long heard from my parents that there are many talented people in Washington, and the Chinese are enthusiastic and unrestrained. They have also been volunteering at Chinese schools and organizing various activities like other parents. Today I felt the colorful cultural atmosphere at the festival. Of course, the most popular cultural immersion experience in the audience is the most dazzling ethnic style created by our bamboo sticks. On behalf of the Zaidao Little Journalists Group, we formed a special dance team: the Bamboo Dance Group, where we performed a bamboo pole dance with unique characteristics.

        Under the patient guidance of Teacher Li and Teacher Jin, we studied and rehearsed for a whole summer, and finally performed for everyone at the cultural festival. The girls were wearing colorful little skirts, and we were all wearing THEZ.US t-shirts, with our hands and feet We all wore little jingling bells, and we performed three times in the morning, noon, and afternoon. I also played clarinet during the parade, and the girls danced in circles to the music. I am very happy that everyone liked our performance. After we finished performing, I continued to follow the music to wave the bamboo sticks. The girls led the audience to dance together and we watched them dance happily.

        Although I was already very hot, sweating a lot and still a little hungry, My mind was still excited and happy. I thoroughly enjoyed the 5+ hours I was out there performing. More people should understand and experience Chinese culture, feel its beauty, and spread it around the world. I will continue to work hard to learn Chinese, and I hope to have more opportunities to travel to China and even around the world to understand this diverse world culture.

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