By JORDAN GRIFFIN and TIFFANY MERRITT
Editor: MICHELLE DANNER
Every Fall, the International & Global Studies department at UNCG, with a grant from the US Government, holds a festival celebrating the Autumn Festival of Eastern Asian countries: mostly Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and of course China. We at New Mind Education at UNCG began our work on October 3rd, on a cool and rainy Saturday morning, setting up tables with whispers of a big storm to come that day. Luckily for us, the storm missed North Carolina and the festival was a huge success.
New Mind’s booth at the festival was undoubtedly one of the most intricate. The Autumn Festival is all about the warmth of togetherness, and we definitely weren’t short of people to be together with! Hundreds of UNCG students attended the festival throughout the day to experience Asian culture, and many of those students visited our booth. We had a photo booth where Americans could have a chance to wear traditional Chinese clothing and take a picture in front of a Chinese imperial throne. Our students helped everyone put on the clothes and take the pictures. To the side of our photo booth, we had a huge board with information about Ming Dynasty art, particularly in blue and white pottery art. Here we also had white wooden plates available for painting. Our students and American visitors could paint on them to mimic Ming flair or even paint their own designs.
Next to our booths, the Korean association, Chinese clubs, and Japanese club offered examples of East Asian culture and food such as calligraphy, Korean drumming, anime, moon cakes, and cultural games. In the room next door, the Chinese Director at UNCG organized many performers and groups to come and present to visitors and guests. American students sang Chinese songs, danced to Japanese music, or even played in Korean drumming groups during the performances. As the day came to a close, we took down the tables and decorations and everyone headed home for a well-deserved rest.