Sunday September 27
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a very important holiday in Chinese culture! Also known as the Moon Festival, the festival day changes every year depending on the lunar calendar. The Chinese people love celebrating the moon and have many traditions and stories surrounding the holiday.
Most holidays are very family-centered in China, so people will get together and cook food. They also like to eat mooncakes, a special Chinese treat. The cakes are round, symbolizing unity and harmony and they come in different flavors like fruit, bean, and egg. Traditionally people will also release lanterns and play games.
To celebrate our first Mid-Autumn Festival, we invited Minnie over for our Sunday discussion and then cooked lunch with her – chicken, rice, vegetables, dumplings, and steamed buns. After lunch we all spent the afternoon together, lesson planning and figuring out the online shopping site called Tao Bao (basically Chinese Amazon).
My friend Mervin and new friend Gari invited me to something called Club Night at the new campus that night and I was SUPER excited about it. It was a spectacular show outside on the soccer field featuring different clubs Nan Hua offers. We took Bus 8 to the new campus around 6:45pm and got to the campus around 7:15. Because I was a teacher there they let us into this VIP section that students couldn’t get close to (#teacherperks)
We saw a Dragon dance, Chinese singers, Tai Chi, a saxophone man playing “My Heart Will Go On” (TITANIC OF COURSE), a model fashion show, cool bicycle tricks, and these amazing street dancers. I also made some new friends!
There were hosts and hostesses who introduced each act and also read short stories of the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival. To complete the show, some people came out dressed as Chinese video game and TV show characters – it was like Comic Con in the USA. They had pink and blue hair and giant swords and armor and crazy costumes and the Chinese students went absolutely nuts watching it!
After the show, Lauren and I came across the dance crew and we kind of freaked out and started fangirling really hard and asked for a picture with them, because why not? They were really cool and very excited to take a picture with us too!
The Mid-Autumn Festival kicked off an awesome week for me. I was discussing English families in my classes for week 2, and I split them up into groups for class. They were able to decide on an English family name for their group, and they picked really silly names like Boomshakala and Maroon 4 (because they had 4 people in their group). They also picked names of Korean and Chinese bands like BANGBANGBANG and TF Boys. I’ve been learning so much about Asian bands and pop culture this week!
For the last half of class I had my students perform skits – I had a topic idea for them to make their skit about, and they had to write their own lines and practice their English while doing so. It was SO fun and the students LOVED it. My prompts were very silly and the students got really creative with them.
A family is going grocery shopping and they lose their child in the store: “YOU LOST MY BABY! I want a divorce!!”
A family is getting ready for a party. They do not like a dress their daughter is wearing and want her to change: “No gentleman will look at you in that! That dress is UGLY!”
Our teacher class 3 invited us to KTV with them on Tuesday night – we are KTV pros now. They took us to the biggest KTV in the area and it was very fancy! We had a blast singing with them and hearing more Chinese music and sharing our American songs!
One of the street dancers from the show on Sunday whose English name is Hero added me on We Chat (Chinese Facebook) and invited Lauren and I to a party on Wednesday night. It was held in a game lounge kind of place near the student’s dorms. It was super cool to meet more of the dancers in the group (I may have fangirled again).
They bought us dinner and then we played games the rest of the evening! Our friend Minnie was invited too and we had so much fun playing Charades and Minority. (In the Minority game you are asked a ridiculous question and you have a Yes and No card. You answer the question however you think less people will answer it. If you are in the lesser group, you win and advance to the next round!)
It’s been such a busy and fun week! And now we have our National Holiday break, which celebrates the new People’s Republic of China. We’re off of work for a week meaning I don’t teach for 10 more days! Minnie invited us to her home in Shaoyang for a few days, so we will be traveling there tomorrow. I’ll let you know how our traveling goes!