The Annual Chinese Moon Festival is a celebration of reunion. And that’s exactly the feeling the fifth annual China Festival at Western Michigan University’s Student Recreation Center wants to convey.
Professor Ying Zeng is the director of Asian Initiatives at Western. When she began the China Festival in 2013 she was its sole organizer. It started out as a way to promote Chinese studies at Western. But Zeng says it’s also a way to honor the Chinese Moon Festival, and let students experience Chinese culture without studying abroad.
“We’re trying to have a lot of authentic activities to make it like a China away from China.”
Zeng says she chose the Moon festival because of what it represents.
“The Moon festival is a time to celebrate family reunion and community reunion. I thought that’s perfect." This year will be the first time Zeng has a committee to help her organize the festival. It will feature authentic Chinese food and other activities.
Zeng says the festival and its influence have grown every year. But that wasn’t always the case.
“I was really nervous, actually, when we hosted the first China Festival. I was wondering how many people will show up? And will anybody be interested in this? But I was really happily surprised that we had a very good turnout.” Zeng says around 700 people came to that first festival and it has been growing ever since.
The WMU China Festival starts at noon on Saturday, September 29, in Western's Student Recreation Center.