Jamila Young – Special to The Southern News –
A gathering of family, friends and culture started off by letting attendees of the Chinese Moon Festival indulge in moon pies.
A presentation started the festival, which discussed how the Chinese celebrate the Moon Festival on the 15th of the 8th lunar month.
On Tuesday, Oct. 2, the Chinese club, with help from the Multicultural Center, hosted a Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration in the Student Center.
The moon cakes symbolize the full moon; They’re usually made with egg yolks and are filled with either sweet bean, lotus seed paste or other kinds of ingredients.
The legend of the Moon Festival, according to chinatravel.com, a website filled with information about Chinese culture and history, is that there were once ten suns in the sky one year, but the blazing suns dried up the lake and the people nearly died.
As a solution, hero Hou Yi, took his bow and shot at nine of the suns. His wife, Chang Er, flew to the moon after taking an elixir, and she’s lived there ever since. Hou Yi, in frustration, shouted at the sky to Chang Er. It was then that he discovered the moon was extremely bright and clear that night. He had his maids put an incense table out in his garden with fresh fruits and moon cakes.
Jian Wu, an SCSU professor who teaches Chinese, director of the foreign language lab and faculty advisor for the Chinese Club, helped organize the event together to share his culture with the Southern community.
“It’s important to bring multicultural awareness,” said Wu. “The mixture of American and Chinese culture allows people to learn from each other.”
Being Chinese and living in America, Wu still continues the traditions from his culture.
“I celebrate Chinese holidays when I can, but I do also celebrate American holidays,” said Wu.
Treasurer of the Chinese club, Lingdi Pierce, attended the event to show her support.
“The festival is very important to our culture,” said Pierce. “I want our culture to expand.”
Pierce makes sure to incorporate her culture within her family.
“My husband is American and we celebrate the Chinese New Year,” said Pierce. “It’s important for children to learn the culture; I buy moon cakes for the holiday.”
The moon festival is a happy event in the Chinese culture but it is bittersweet for Pierce since her family is in China.
“When I look at the moon, I miss my family,” said Pierce. “I think to myself: how is my family doing?”
Meredith Peterson, sophomore anthropology major and president of the Chinese Club, expressed her feelings on the Chinese culture.
“I like that China has a rich history and with its long history, there’s lots to study,” said Peterson.
Peterson has taken Chinese as a language. She prefers it over other languages.
“They offered it in my high school,” said Peterson. “I like it because there are no conjugations but writing the different characters is difficult.”
Peterson had the privilege of actually going to China and seeing what it was like firsthand.
“In 2008 I spent three weeks in China right before the Olympics,” said Peterson. “I met the Olympic ping pong team from Egypt, and now I’m friends with them on Facebook.”
The Chinese Club will be having an event during the spring 2013 semester to celebrate the Chinese New Year as well.