Chinese Festival: A Weeklong Celebration of Chinese Culture

Participants signing up for event at the Chinese Festival and judges writing comments about the drawing contest participants drawing.
Participants signing up for event at the Chinese Festival and judges writing comments about the drawing contest participants drawing.

By Megan Zimmerer

Drawing contest participants hold up their drawings for viewing.In celebration of the 3rd annual Global Confucius Institute Day, CIMU hosted many activities on and off campus during the week of Sept 16-23. The theme this year was “Chinese Movie.” There were several events during the week, including activities at Cook Field, martial arts and kite flying competitions for local schoolchildren and community members, a festival in Uptown Park, and a Chinese movie night.

The biggest event of the week took place at Cook Field. Students from local schools and Miami University, local community members, and CI staff attended this event. Over 300 white T shirts were made specially for the students to wear during this event. Students from 11 local schools submitted kites they painted in a competition to see who could best represent Chinese culture and this year’s theme, then flew their kites under the beautiful blue sky. A panel of judges determined this year’s winners:

Individual Awards:

1st: Urvi Wagh, William Mason HS

2nd: Young-Quist Samantha, Sycamore HS

3rd: Grace Vanderbilt, Oak Hills HS

Group Awards:

1st: William Mason HS

2nd: Sycamore HS

3rd: Anderson HS, Nagel MS, Turpin HS

A Kung Fu instructor showing how to punch at Chinese Festival.After the kite-flying competition, CI instructors Jerome Cook and Enjie Li worked with the students to improve their kung fu skills. Before the event, CIMU sent out an instructional video for each school to help the students learn basic kung fu skills, so many of them were already familiar with the moves. Afterwards, each school group demonstrated what they had learned in a kung fu competition. Below is a list of kung fu competition winners:

1st: Seven Hills HS

2nd: Sycamore HS

3rd: Anderson HS, Nagel MS, Turpin HS

Another exciting event this week was the festival which was held in Uptown Park on Friday evening. A huge banner hung over High Street, announcing the event for students and local community members to see.

There were three different types of booths set up: culture learning, culture activities, and administration. This year, in addition to the traditional setup, there were several new booths that attracted many people. These new additions represented the theme: a line of 20 posters and 3 hands-on booths illustrated the history of Chinese cinema including Mulan, 3 Kingdom Warriors, and Chinese kung fu movies. Students from local schools showed up on buses to attend the event, and the festival was populated by many passersby and local community members.

There were plenty of familiar faces in the crowd, and the atmosphere was full of excitement. One participant remarked, “[My] kids love all the’s good for them to get a taste of Chinese culture and it’s really good for them to socialize with other kids outside of school. They [CI] did a great job setting this up for everyone.”

The evening also included a number of cultural performance groups, who prepared diligently and arrived in beautiful costumes. Due to the storm on Friday evening, some of the events had to be rescheduled for later in the week, but the festival was nonetheless a huge success.

In the spirit of this year’s movie theme, CIMU also hosted a Chinese movie night. The featured film was “Skiptrace,” an English-language movie with Chinese and English subtitles, starring Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville. Many people gathered in McGuffey Hall to watch the screening. The action comedy provoked laughter and excitement among the students, and everyone helped themselves to popcorn and refreshments.