The Chinese Club’s Mid-Autumn Culture Festival

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Van Faust-Stephenson | vfauststephenso@email.radford.edu

While in college, you are given the opportunity to not only experience different cultures from across the country from your classmates, but also different cultures from across the world. One of these opportunities arose thanks to the on-campus Chinese club’s Mid-Autumn Festival, which was not a festival, but an hour-and-a-half long series of performances; a surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one. Several local Chinese-oriented groups, such as the Dragon Tiger Eagle Wushu Kungfu group and the 15-50 Dance Group, helped contribute to the performances, making it integrated into American culture at one particular point of the performance. It would be impossible to someone foreign to the culture to describe everything that happened during the performance accurately, so I’ll just do a few highlights.

First off was the choir performances of Friends Forever and Jasmine Flowers, both sung in Chinese. Though I had no hope of understanding the lyrics, both were incredible songs that utilized their twenty-five person chorus. As well, this was performed by professionals, unlike what one would expect after seeing a high-school drama club attempt to do anything related to foreign material, and it was amazing to see something like this happen on campus.

And then there were the Chinese Yo-Yo performances. Unlike the simple American Yo-Yo’s, Chinese Yo-Yos are more intricate, with the string and plastic diabolo being separated from each other, and can be used to perform some amazing things. Both acts involving these were set to music and choreographed to fit it, The Yellow Emperor and Thirty-three by AJR being the songs played. The tricks were amazing, the diabolos being swapped between performers, who I should mention the oldest was in her young teens, after being thrown over ten feet in the air and landing on the thin string. They were probably my favorite part of the entire performance just due to how intricate they were.

The performance also introduced me to a type of instrument called the Hulusi; a flute-like instrument that is made out of a gourd. The two performances that used them, Dance of the Yao and Azalea, were my two favorite musical performances in the show, maybe even due to just how nice it is to hear an instrument you’ve never heard before and heard it played so beautifully.

In all, it is wonderful whenever the campus gives us an opportunity to experience other cultures; especially when that opportunity is as well made and lovingly crafted as the one put on by the campus’s Chinese Club. It would be a wonder to have similar events to this happen with the help of our other cultural clubs, though that is something that would have to wait until later. As well, if the festival had interested you and you could not make it, or if you could make it and want to know more, you can check out the Chinese Club’s page on RUInvolved, as well as other cultural clubs that you may want also to have events like this.

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