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Students celebrate Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

September 10, 2014
<p>Mooncakes rest on plates during a celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 8, 2014, outside of The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, Mich. Aerika Williams/The State News</p>

Mooncakes rest on plates during a celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 8, 2014, outside of The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, Mich. Aerika Williams/The State News

Chinese communities around the world celebrated the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival on Monday.  The Chinese community at MSU made sure not to miss out on such a celebration.

MSU students and community members gathered outside the  Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum for the event, hosted by the Chinese Undergraduate Student Association  and sponsored by the museum. Moon cakes, the traditional festival treat,  and bubble tea were offered along with musical performances.

The Mid-Autumn Festival  is a family oriented festival where the family gets together to have dinner and eat moon cake, said Maggie Zhang, association president.

Zhang, a marketing and advertising senior, compared the festival to Thanksgiving, adding that the festival is determined through the lunar calendar and is usually celebrated when the moon is the roundest.

“I remember when I was younger, we would walk up to the roof, look at the moon, make wishes and eat moon cake and later on or before the whole family would have a family dinner together to be thankful about what we have,” Zhang said.

She said in the past, she celebrated the festival by gathering with her friends to have dinner and play games.

Zhang said it was important to host the event to help students overcome the homesickness they might get during such a time, especially first year students.

Interior design sophomore Jiabao Zhang said the event was different than the traditional celebration they usually have back home.

“Usually, we just spend our time with our family, we don’t usually have this group of people together, but it’s nice,” Jiabao Zhang said.

Maggie Zhang said it was important to get Chinese students, especially incoming students, to connect with other members of the community, like American students.

One student there who was not a part of the Chinese community was Natasha Mwanakatwe, interior design sophomore and native of Zambia .

“I came because this semester I want to get more involved in cultural events,” Mwanakatwe said.

She said she learned of the event from her friend and was interested in learning more about Chinese culture.

Zhang said this year Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum manager of education Leyna Lightman reached out to her to learn more about the Chinese culture in preparation for a  Chinese contemporary art exhibition opening soon.

“So in getting ready for this, I want to talk to the Chinese community and the Chinese-American community on campus — the students, the faculty and our general Lansing community and learn more about the culture and make sure that they come to see the exhibition,” Lightman said.

Lightman said when Maggie Zhang introduced her to the festival, she thought it would be a good way to promote the upcoming exhibition.

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