Chinese festival fun shared with students
Chinese Ambassador in Samoa Wang Xuefeng and his good lady Tong Xin held a festive party with Chinese teachers in Samoa at his residence at Vailima on Saturday afternoon.
The purpose of the festive party was the celebration of the Traditional Chinese Celebration called “Dragon Boat Festival”.
According to Ambassador Xuefeng the “Dragon Boat Festival” is a traditional holiday that commemorates the life and death of the famous Chinese scholar, Qu Yuan (Chu Yuan). It occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunar calendar.
“The festival is also a celebration where many eat rice dumplings (zongzi), drink realgar wine (xionghuangjiu), and race dragon boats. “Other activities include hanging icons of Zhong Kui (a mythic guardian figure), hanging mugwort and calamus, taking long walks, writing spells and wearing perfumed medicine bags.
“All of these activities and games such as making an egg stand at noon were regarded by the ancients as an effective way of preventing disease, evil, while promoting good health and well-being. “People sometimes wear talismans to fend off evil spirits or they may hang the picture of Zhong Kui, a guardian against evil spirits, on the door of their homes.
“In the Republic of China, the festival was also celebrated as "Poets' Day" in honor of Qu Yuan, who is known as China's first poet. Chinese citizens traditionally throw bamboo leaves filled with cooked rice into the water and it is also customary to eat tzungtzu and rice dumplings.”
He also said that instead of celebrating this festival with his wife, he invited the Chinese teachers who are working hard in Samoa, to celebrate the festival together.
“They were able to share their experiences of their jobs inside schools here in Samoa.”
Deputy Chef de Mission, Mr. Gu explained the background of two projects - Chinese Language Teaching and the Science Teaching requested by the Government of Samoa.
“This get together today is happening because of this traditional Chinese festival so we are very pleased to have our friends and also to be with our Chinese Ambassador here this afternoon,” said Mr. Gu.
“This is also a good chance for us to feel we are at home because we have been here for so long and we are missing our families and also so many celebrations back home.
“We hope this get together will help us feel better and not homesick anymore. “This also can make up for all the celebrations that we missed out on because of our commitment here to Samoa and also for the betterment of the children of Samoa through education.”
Mr Gu also went on to say that this festive party get together is also an opportunity for them to officially welcome the teachers who have come from China to work in Samoa for the whole year.
“Although it has been long overdue because most of them have arrived last year and in the beginning of this year, we have never had the time to get together because when they arrived they went straight to their appointed schools where they are teaching,” said Mr. Gu. “So we haven’t had the chance to officially welcome our teachers from China and we hope this can make up for that.” “[But] this is a good chance for us to meet one another and tell each other some of our stories of what it’s like to be away from home and family.”
The afternoon ended with a delicious lunch organized by Ambassador Wang and his good lady.