On the evening of September 21, the Youth League Branch of the Yenching Academy held a gala at Jingyuan Courtyard 3 to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with our Yenching Scholars in a simultaneous in-person and online event to enjoy the festive evening.
Hui Xin Wong from Malaysia and Zhang Jiayu from China chaired the event, which featured several performances, speeches, and games to entertain the Scholars scattered across different parts of the world.
The gala began with a video prepared by Qiu Zheqian from the 2021 Cohort, which served as a virtual discovery tour of the PKU campus, showing our Scholars who could not resume on-campus studies because of COVID-19 several landmark buildings, including Jingyuan and the Boya Pagoda. Fung Wai Yun from the 2020 Cohort talked about the multidisciplinary exhibition of Jingyuan 4 – “Through Our Door” – she directed.
Music is an excellent expression of the enchanting beauty of traditional Chinese culture as epitomized in Wu Kexin’s solo, “Prelude to Water Ripple” (“Shui Diao Ge Tou”), and Zhao Qing’s piano solo “The Butterfly Lovers” (“Liang Zhu”). Similarly, Zhao Yanan’s Latin dance, Feng Huidi’s aerobics, Mu Boyang’s clarinet performance, and Wang Yuyao’s piano solo performance revealed the charms of intermingling foreign and Chinese cultures. Katherine Monroe sang a Yunnan folk song “Over Three Decades” (“San Shi Nian”) online from the United States. All the performers received warm applause and appreciation from their colleagues.
Sarah Brooker from the United States and Marina Sanjuan Pulgarin Torres from Mexico shared their stories about the moon and Mid-Autumn Festival. Jacob Zecha Mpemba from Kenya talked about what he felt about the festival and sang with his fellow students the “YCA Anthem”. The song was rearranged by Jacob, who was also the lyricist.
The attendants enjoyed traditional Chinese party games online and onsite, including poem sentence recital, lantern riddle and quiz show of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The gala ended with a toast, with the Scholars sharing and eating delicious moon cakes.
The Mid-Autumn Festival Gala is an annual event at YCA and acts as a bridge between different cultures. With it, we can better contribute to a world in which countries treasure their distinct heritages, appreciate other cultures, and promote shared prosperity, as envisioned by the renowned Chinese sociologist Fei Xiaotong.
After the gala, several Scholars expressed their joys and appreciation. Zhang Jiayu had this to say: “It was a happy experience to admire the moon with my fellow Yenching Scholars on the evening of the Mid-Autumn Day.”
Wan Yuyao (China) said that “It was the first group event of the 2021 Cohort. We are grateful to An laoshi and our fellow students in the Youth League Branch from the 2020 Cohort for organizing the event. Their experience and guidance were invaluable. We want to thank you all for your faith in and support for us. I think all our efforts have been repaid with this exciting gala. We’re looking forward to creating more at YCA together.”
Sarah Brooker（US）：It’s so amazing to be around such a talented group of people and spend such happy moments together with everyone online and in person! I’ll definitely remember this mid-autumn festival for a long time!
Likewise, Yu Haochen (China) observed that “We’ve been working hard and happily on this gala. I admired my fellow students’ attainments in art every time I looked at the playbill or sat in a rehearsal. The gala was a sparkling event because of their talent.”
Katherine Monroe（US）：I was really happy to get to be a part of the gala! It really felt like we were all in one space celebrating together (though I was admittedly a little jealous that you all couldn’t just pass a piece of cake to me through my computer screen at the end) hahaha.