As the vibrant colours of autumn paint the world around us and the full moon graces the night sky, we find ourselves reflecting on a magical evening of poetry, games, and cultural celebration. The 2023 Millennium Mid-Autumn Poetry Festival & Game Night at UBC’s Chinese Language Program was a resounding success, uniting us in the spirit of tradition and community.
Let’s embark on this journey of reminiscence and celebration together! This year’s event was a testament to the power of language and culture, bringing together students, faculty, and friends to embrace the rich tapestry of Chinese traditions while fostering creativity amongst the student population. From heartfelt verses that echoed through the autumn air to the laughter that filled the room during the exhilarating game night, the recent CLP events were festivities to remember.
Millennium Mid-Autumn Poetry Festival (贯穿千年的中秋诗会)
In the weeks leading up to the traditional Chinese holiday, the “Millennium Mid-Autumn Poetry Gathering” was a vibrant celebration that brought together students, professors, and the wider UBC community in cultural appreciation and language proficiency. Various Chinese learners of all levels engaged in poetry recitations, spanning from classical verses to contemporary compositions, showcasing their language skills and creativity. Thus, they played a pivotal role in preserving and promoting Chinese cultural traditions, ensuring the continuity of millennia-old customs of poetry reading.
Student responses were nothing short of spectacular! A virtual cultural showcase of student submissions enriched with poetry performances of lantern displays, songs and dance, traditional costumes, and insights into the customs of the Mid-Autumn Festival. These works were proudly featured on the CLP instagram @ubcchinese, reflecting the passion and dedication of our community.
By facilitating cultural exchange, this poetry event demonstrated the importance of understanding and appreciating diverse cultural perspectives, contributing to a multicultural educational environment. Here, language learning was a central theme, allowing students to apply their skills in a practical context and further enhancing their language proficiency.
Through the various student submissions, we can see one of the most remarkable outcomes of this gathering was the strengthening of community bonds. It successfully nurtured a sense of belonging within the Chinese language program, fostering unity among heritage and non heritage students. By sharing their perspectives and traditions, participants appreciated the rich tapestry of Chinese culture, emphasizing cultural diversity and cross-cultural empathy.
Chinese Game Night Event (中文奇妙夜)
Alongside the spectacular Mid-Autumn poetry event, the vibrant C.K. Choi Building at UBC was transformed into a hub of gathering on October 6, 2023, offering a delightful blend of fun, laughter, and friendly competition alongside the delightful taste of mooncakes! Students had the opportunity to dive into traditional Chinese games like Chinese Checkers (跳棋 tiào qí) and Chinese Chess (象棋 xiàng qí), providing a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of China. In addition, familiar family games such as Uno, Monopoly, and Pictionary added a touch of nostalgia to the evening, creating a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for all students.
These games not only encouraged teamwork but also facilitated Chinese language learning in a fun and engaging way. To add an interesting twist, some game rules were creatively altered to promote language exploration, making it an educational experience that was as entertaining as it was informative.
No Mid-Autumn Festival is complete without the delectable mooncakes! These round pastries, symbolizing unity and completeness, are a staple during the mid-autumn festival. As we savoured each bite, we tasted the heritage and history that these treats carry. They served as a reminder that, like the mooncake itself, our community is a collection of diverse ingredients that come together to create something beautiful and meaningful.
In hopes of promoting Chinese language integration, each game encouraged participants to use and understand Chinese terminology related to the game rules. This practical application of language is an effective way to reinforce vocabulary and comprehension into a seamless blend of language learning and the sheer joy of gameplay.
Now, let’s turn our attention to insights from a few participants in the Chinese Language Program who graced the event with their presence. They’ve shared reflections on how the game night significantly enriched their language learning journey, fueled their excitement for engaging activities, and cultivated a profound sense of community and cultural exchange among the attendees.
“I loved playing Chinese checkers, it was very fun. I used to play Chinese chess, or xiangqi, when I was back in Korea and it made me realize how widespread Chinese culture was in my life whether in Korea or Canada. I was able to connect and converse with many different people all wanting to learn the same language and to learn and teach traditional games with them was educational and exciting.”
– Leo Lee, a student from CHIN 231
“My favorite game at the Chinese Game Night was Chinese “Jianzi”. This was my favorite game because I was able to see my friends doing complimentary moves to the jianzi, it was so funny! However, if you want to play this game well, you need to be very coordinated and know how to move your feet to get the timing of the jianzi.”
– Gwynnie Guo, a student from CHIN 341
During the Game Night, my favorite game was the big group “Telephone” warm-up game. This game allowed us to get to know each other better and helped me feel a relaxed and happy atmosphere. During the night, I also observed that many of Jay Chou’s songs were played, which I enjoyed because when learning about culture, Chinese music is a big part that we can explore.
– Yixin Yuan, a student from CHIN 415
As the moon waxed and waned, so did the spirits at our recent celestial celebrations. We would like to thank all the students for their creativity and hard work, and for coming out to celebrate the recent festivities with the Chinese Language Program. Your active participation illuminated the essence of our shared journey, reinforcing the idea that the pursuit of knowledge is intricately woven into the fabric of our collective experience.