By Maurice Zekaria
On Friday, Sept. 25, the Chinese Club sold traditional Chinese delicacies to the entire student body to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Dating back to Ancient China, the Autumn Festival has been celebrated annually for nearly 5,000 years. The festival, referred to as “The Burning of the Wheat,” celebrates the traditional Chinese agricultural practice, in which farmers burned their wheat to fallow the crop fields for the next harvest.
The Chinese Club sold customary Chinese desserts in Malloy Commons at lunch and played traditional Chinese music on speakers. Yuebing, a traditional Chinese dish, was the most popular food sold at the event, according to Mandarin teacher and club moderator, Mr. Michael Mikita. It is a square mooncake served with a yoke inside, intended to represent the moon in the beginning of the autumn lunar cycle.
Mr. Mikita explained, “The purpose of these Chinese festivals is to educate the student body about Chinese culture in a way that is fun, engaging and authentic.”
Junior Griffin Cappelletti, the secretary to the Chinese Club, expressed his enjoyment for Loyola’s Chinese festivals: “Last year’s Chinese Spring Festival was very fun. I loved eating the good food and listening to the music,” he said. “These events also encouraged me to participate more actively in the Chinese Club and to learn more about the culture and language.”
Sophomore Sam Troyer said, “In Mr. Mikita’s Mandarin class, I learned a lot about the Chinese culture and language, giving me the ability to get more out of these cultural events.”
Co-president of the Chinese Club Scott Tamkin, a junior, explained, “Many of the members of the Chinese Club are members of the Mandarin class,” said Tamkin. “The club can be thought of as supplemental learning for the class in ways like learning about Chinese pop culture, politics and industry. We also take trips outside of school that allow students to apply learned knowledge in real life experiences.”
The Chinese Club will continue to have more events similar to the Chinese Autumn Festival in the future to share the Chinese culture with the Loyola community.