On September 24, 2018, Yenching Scholars of the 3rd and 4th cohorts gathered in the Second Gymnasium to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. Hailing from many different countries, students gathered together and for many, it was their first time celebrating the special holiday. Hosted by Jake Hamel and Sun Anli, the evening program included a variety of performances, which showcased the diverse talents of the student performers.
At the opening of the event, Chinese students Fu Yi, Li Jiaxin, Liang Kun, Peng Dongni, and Sun Anli, wore elegant chi-pao dresses to accompany their beautiful traditional dance performance, which was met by the audience’s resounding cheers. Shortly after, Ellan Lincoln-Hyde and the Jovana Bogojevic sang a famous Chinese song titled and Jake read a poem by Chinese poet Li-Bai. As the evening program ensued, the audience learned more about the customs of the Mid-Autumn Festival and experienced the beauty and significance of Chinese traditional festivals. During the intermission, the audience member were quizzed on significant facts relating to the festival, which helped to bolster everyone’s knowledge on Chinese culture. Later, Ellan returned to the stage and sang “Going Back Home” with her Ukulele, Ruan Yuan and Liu Jiayue played the Chinese hits "Sweet Honey" and "The Moon Represents My Heart" on the guitar. During a brief break between performances, the performers on stage surprised Liu Jiayue with a warm and moving birthday song for his birthday celebration. Finally, Yenching’s dance group performed a unique dance arrangement, which was again met with loud applause.
Following the dazzling performances, the evening wrapped up with scholars engaging in cultural activities and games, such as hand-making mooncakes, painting traditional Chinese calligraphy, or enjoying delicious mooncakes. For many scholars, despite being far away from their families, many found themselves enjoying an evening with a new found family at Yenching.
written by Jennifer Jia-hong Liu
photos by Anastasia Tsyk, Huang Xuesong