Organization hosts Chinese festival

Close to 500 people gathered in the GUC Monday to celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival hosted by the Chinese Student Organization.

This is the second year the CSO has hosted the event by setting up a booth to display many features of Chinese culture and to welcome all students and faculty to celebrate with them.

“This is our second celebration here at the GUC and is open to everyone,” said Lin Zhang, instructor of Chinese.

The booth was set up with a variety of Chinese trinkets, games, foods and more. Many who passed by were able to play mahjong or pick-up-nuts, try sesame chicken, moon cakes or green tea, buy souvenirs and have their names written in Chinese calligraphy.

“When you gain this kind of experience, you widen your views,” Zhang said.

The Moon Festival occurs on different days on the Chinese calendar when the moon is going to be full, according to CSO member Yu Fu. The day is one of the more celebrated times in Chinese culture.

“The Moon Festival is the second most important festival of the year,” said Yaoling Mei, former CSO president. “The first is the Chinese New Year.”

Some compare the festival to American holidays.

“In America, (Americans) have Thanksgiving,” Zhang said. “(The Moon Festival) is like that.”

The festival attracted much attention from students and faculty members who passed by.

“It’s interesting how diverse the university is and how well we can get into their culture one way or another,” said UNA student Emily Ervin.

The booth even caught the attention of Board of Trustee member Billy Don Anderson, who stopped by to see what they had to offer and picked up a few souvenirs for his grandchildren.

It is the hope of the CSO to allow UNA students to learn a bit of Chinese culture. Some students, Zhang suggested, may come from countries that have festivals similar to this.

“In some Asian countries, they celebrate the same festival,” Zhang said.

The CSO’s main goal was to create a friendly atmosphere for students far from home to allow them a chance to celebrate in fellowship.

“Though (students) are far away from their families, they can feel like family with their friends,” Zhang said. “The friendship between the Chinese and the Americans and the students from other countries will contribute to their families.”