An annual Chinese Festival prepares itself every year when the rainbow of flower buds open and the bare tree branches bear vibrant green leaves at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The festival called The Chinese Culture Festival is a two day event full of activities and performances where people can experience a wide range of Chinese culture. This year, the springtime festival was held on April 22nd and 23rd. Many people who went were from local areas around St. Louis while others traveled far distances for the annual festival.
Amy Ma, an eighth grader from Wydown Middle School, talks about her experience at the Chinese Culture Festival. “I went to the Chinese Cultural Festival because I was a performer there from the St.Louis Modern Chinese School (SLMCS).” Amy said. She and others from SLMCS dedicated hours throughout the whole year in order to perform at the festival. “This year, I was there to perform a character dance that showed the celebration of life and season of harvest.” Amy said. The dance camefrom a desert and mountainous province in northwest China called Xing Jian and is a style of ballet that interprets personalities. “I also did a performance to represent this year’s theme: Yang Shen, which means “nourishing life.” Yang Shen is a chinese concept and philosophy that teaches various techniques of self healing, prevention of diseases and traditional Chinese medicine. The performance group from SLMCS performed twice a day at the Shoenberg Theater in the Missouri Botanical Garden.
The Chinese culture festival offers much more than just cultural dances, it showcases events, performances, and a parade with dragons and lions. The people also get to enjoy real authentic chinese food and have culinary art class. An area for face painting and traditional Chinese arts and crafts is dedicated towards children. The festival offers a vast amount of activities and performances to show people the authentic Chinese culture. The shows performed range from modern day to ancient performances. The festival represents a wide range of cultures from the most rural to the most crowded parts of China.
The Chinese Culture Festival teaches people about the authentic Chinese Culture. “The festival is important to me because it’s almost like a tradition to go and perform there. I’ve been going there for almost four years now and every year there’s always something new and exciting. It’s also important for me because every year I end up learning something new.” Amy Ma said. The festival is a special and important event that is dedicated to showing others the real Chinese culture. “It is also a great learning experience for people, and it gives you a taste of what China is like without having to travel halfway around the world.” Amy Ma said.
The festival is a way to bring people together and to show what other people’s traditions and cultures are. The festival breaks stereotypes and allows for people to experience the real culture. For such a complex culture such as China’s, the festival is a great ambassador for people who want to learn about China.
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