Experiencing Chinese Culture Festival

This year was my first time attending the Chinese Culture Festival, and one of my few times getting to enjoy Chinese culture. I started learning Chinese in high school, as my middle school did not offer it. Classes were more than language, we learned the history of China, the beliefs of Confucianism, and personal experiences of people living in China. After my freshman year, my teacher began encouraging us to attend cultural events. This summer I was invited to the Chinese Culture Festival. While I had learned mainly about China’s past, this was my first time experiencing the present. Firstly, I noticed the generations of people involved in the festival. Grandparents and parents watched their children perform, families ran food and gift stands, and taught kids to handle money. What stuck most with me was when writing my Chinese name in ink, a kid came up to me. He asked me if I had learned Chinese, as my handwriting was, in his words, “pretty good”. After telling him that I was learning, The boy started to tell me how the woman running the stand was his mentor, and he was learning Chinese cursive. When he had finished his explanation he left, and I looked to my side. Another man was writing his Chinese name and talking to the boy’s mentor, the lady running the stand. The man was explaining how he was never able to learn Chinese as a child and wanted to learn. The woman then told him how many of her students were adults, wanting to learn the language of their relatives. The Chinese Culture Festival is an amazing thing, allowing generations to connect fully. I hope to go again next year and bring others so that they can see the togetherness that this festival brings.

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