UW Tacoma held a Chinese Cultural Festival in William W. Philip Hall Nov. 28. The purpose of the event was to introduce different aspects of Chinese culture to UWT students. Attendees were able to taste a variety of Chinese food and listen to traditional Chinese music. The customs and heritage of China was acknowledged at the festival, and students were given a glimpse of life in China.
Lily Li — a part time lecturer who teaches beginning Chinese language courses — hosted the festival along with other students from her classes.
“Lots of students [on] the campus like Chinese language and Chinese culture,” Li said. “This is a chance for them to learn.”
Li’s students chose topics that they wanted to research and created posters to display at the festival. The information on the posters ranged from different types of celebrations — such as Chinese New Year — to various musical instruments.
“There are eight topics in the event, the students prepared [and researched] for them.” Li said. “They enjoy [presenting] them.”
Lilith Perry, a UWT junior majoring in Psychology, showcased her project at the festival while decorated in the color red for luck and to show the importance of Chinese culture. At her booth, Perry talked about Chinese New Year and explained what she wanted others to take away from her project as well as how she and her classmates worked vigorously on them.
“We want to grow the [the number of] students we have between quarters and hopefully make it a stable culture and language that we can learn here on campus,” Perry said. “Every one of us spent a long time researching our project and making sure that we bring the best foot forward for the rest of the community members that want to learn.”
Adam Matulich, a UWT junior majoring in Biomedical Sciences, and Danny Tomlinson, a UWT senior majoring in Arts, Media and Culture, presented a booth about the art of Kung Fu. The booth featured two separate posters — one showing step-by-step images of how to do Kung Fu and what traditional garments are worn for this practice. The other poster showed of different Chinese film genres and showcased actor Bruce Lee — a UW graduate known for popularizing and starring in Hong Kong Chinese Kung Fu films.
Another booth at the festival displayed study abroad opportunities in China. For summer 2019, students will have the chance to study abroad in Guangzhou. The four-week program is 15 credits and allows students to immerse themselves into the Chinese culture and philosophy as well as give students the chance to visit historical sites. Professor Li advises UWT students to do study abroad programs in China.
There were many traditional Chinese appetizers at the booths, one being Zongzi — a sticky rice with meat wrapped in leaves of reed. Tea — which is very popular in China — had its own booth at the festival. Amelia Reeves, a UWT senior majoring in Arts, Media and Culture, researched the favored beverage more in depth. Her poster featured teas such as green, white, oolong, black and pu’er, with instructions on how to brew it and the caffeine level.
“We sat down with Mad Hat [Tea Company] and had a tea ceremony and learned about the different teas and we chose which teas we wanted to bring here today for people to try,” Reeves said.
The Asian Pacific Islander Student Union were also present at the festival and had a booth that introduced the organization, showing pictures of their own events.
“Our focus is here is to represent and learn about Asian culture and emphasize that in our organization,” Dani Thompson, co-president of APISU, said. “We feel that coming to this Chinese cultural festival is a great way for our members and officers to learn about Chinese culture so that we can learn it and teach it at a later time or deepen our understanding of a culture we are not too in tune with.”
Professor Li hopes that students and other attendees of the festival gained more knowledge of Chinese culture and further understood the importance of learning about it on the UWT campus.