An Update from The Mid-America Asian Cultural Association regarding the upcoming Aisan Cultural Festival:
A new update! The mayor of Olathe Mike Copland, Mayor of Overland Park Carl Gerlach, and Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn, will be attending this year’s festival along with Congressman Kevin Yoder, Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, and Chinese Council General Hong Lei from Chicago. The mayors would like to invite the residents of Olathe, Overland Park, and Leawood to join them at Asian Cultural Festival on Saturday, April 29, 2017 to promote culture diversity in all the communities.
The Annual Asian Cultural Festival
A Celebration for ALL Ages and the Community
Celebrate 2017 Asian Cultural Festival at the Olathe East High School
on Saturday, April 29th from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
More information is available on the MAACA website: http://maacaweb.org/MAACA/MartialArtFestival.html
The Dragon Boat Festival is right around the corner, this summer festivity is always highly anticipated -whether one participates in the races or not. The Dragon Boat Festival is actually concurrent with 端午節 or the “festival at dusk” or “May 5th day” . This day is a memorial to the Zhou Dynasty poet and minister Qu Yuan ( Link to Wikipedia for inquiring minds ); who even after betrayal and decades of banishment was deeply saddened when his country was conquered. In his despair, He drowned himself in a river.
His neighbors and the residents of surrounding villages raced out in boats to reach him, sadly they were too late. As the sun began to set, fisherman feared his body might be eaten by fish and other aquatic life. More villagers raced into the waters, some with sticks and drums others with packed rice balls; all returning to the waters as quickly as they could to stand guard over the lost minister.
Every 5th day of the Lunar 5th month, people remember the tragic loss by reliving the races and making packed rice balls called 仲子”zhongzi” to share with all.
On May 20th, we will be learning more about the Festival of Dusk and making tetrahedron ‘ZhongZi’ shapes. Sign up today!
“What is one important thing to know about China that we probably don’t already know?”
In mid-April, we were given the opportunity to host a booth at the WYCO Ethnic Festival. The purpose of the festival is ‘to foster a climate of inclusiveness, promote relationships and contact between people, and educate each other about our common humanity’ and that is exactly what we experienced.
Our club president, Catherine, set up a beautiful display that immediately caught the eye of many passersby. Upon visiting the booth, they were able to learn about our summer cultural workshops, Chinese knots, and even they were lucky, catch Catherine free-handing calligraphy sketches or Prof. Billy Hu writing in Chinese calligraphy.
The festival was hosted at the Kansas City Kansas Community College and consequently there were many college students roaming about asking questions about the cultures represented. Many families were also present with parents encouraging their youth to learn more about each country–like the question that was asked above.
As someone who has grown up not immersed in Chinese culture, I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more as well, specifically about calligraphy and the symbolism of the red paper cutouts (as seen below).
It’s a beautiful thing it be in a room with dozens of other cultures represented, celebrating the uniqueness of each one as well as the commonality that we share. The combination of diversity and harmony was evident in the groups with all ages performing, the stages of life present in those visiting, and the smiles all around.
A huge thank you to the volunteers that helped make this event happen. It was a joy to share some of the richness of Chinese culture to the citizens of Wyandotte County.