Project Background and Description
|Students in the Chinese Language and Culture courses routinely seek opportunities outside of the classroom to practice the language they have been studying as well to experience the culture and customs they are learning. Unfortunately, due to the 1885 “Tacoma Method,” the City still has an underrepresented Chinese community. The annual Tacoma Moon Festival, however, provides an event in which students can participate, both as volunteers and festival goers, to learn about Tacoma’s past history, current reconciliation effort (Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation), and Chinese and other Asian cultures. Students can taste moon cakes and zongzi (Chinese Tamale), experience a teahouse while listening to live Beijing opera performances, and learn to paint a paper fan and try on a traditional banquet outfit. Volunteers have the opportunity to meet and work alongside other volunteers of Chinese descent, students and teachers in other Chinese classes as well as international students, community leaders and local residents.|
What you want to read about before you go:
|To help each participant understand the complexity of the experience and put it in a larger context, please read the following:
· The Tacoma Method
· Request for Reconciliation (1991)
· City Council Resolution (1993)
· The Chinese Reconciliation Park
· Park History in Chinese
· Chinese Moon Festival Traditions
· The Moon Festival and Other Vietnamese Traditions
Relate, engage, go above and beyond:
|· Not just volunteer but participate in as many activities as possible
· Try something different and new
· Go out of your way to interact with the people you’re serving, other volunteers, and staff people
· If you finish the task you came to do, ask for another project that could use your help or just step in and volunteer at another activity tent
Remember to take notes and share:
|You are encouraged to share the moments, your thoughts and experiences on the festival day and later. We will have two post-event meetings to discuss and share your experiences.
(ON THE EVENT DATE) REMEMBER TO:
How can participants connect and share:
|· Facebook Group [UPS_MoonFestival_2016] (closed group)
· WeChat Connection (closed group)
· Instagram #TacomaMoonFestival
· UPS Chinese Program FB
· Tacoma Moon Festival FB
What you might like to reflect on?
|· What has been rewarding or disappointing about this experience?
· What do you bring to this site/event? As in what can you connect this site/event with from your past, heritage, previous courses or other aspect of your person?
· What is one idea/takeaway from this event?
· Why is this an important event to support?
· Why is it important to have the Chinese Reconciliation Park?
Logistics (volunteer schedule; ride sharing)
|2016 Festival sign up for one or more of the volunteer shifts on the event date (9/24)
· Morning Set up 9 – 12:00 (1-2 drivers; 6-8 volunteers)
· Afternoon 12:00 – 4:00 (drivers; volunteers)
· Afternoon 3:00 – 7:00 (drivers; volunteers)
· Evening Tear down 6:00 – 8:00 (drivers; volunteers)
|· To provide opportunities for students of Chinese to practice and use what they have learned in the classroom
· To raise students’ awareness and understanding of a culture that many have not been exposed to outside of the classroom
· To engage students in not just new information and ideas but, through volunteerism and physical labors (loading and unloading, set up and tear down for the events), to exercise their minds as well as their bodies
· To instill interest and motivation in learners of a difficult Asian language that requires constant effort and perseverance
· To provide an informal but personal immersion learning experience that could complement the formal classroom study
· To connect students to the community, and to allow them to network with a diverse group of organizations and businesses
· To learn about the City’s past history, its continuing reconciliation effort and how individuals can contribute to it
· To place students in volunteer positions where they may learn new skills and can build camaraderie among themselves
for 2016 Project Participation
|· Participate in one of the pre-event trainings, scheduled on September 16 (4:00-5:00pm or 5:00-6:00pm)*
· Be a current or past student in a Chinese language and culture course OR have other Chinese/Asia-related experience and/or heritage background
· Read articles on the Tacoma Method and Chinese Festivals (to be distributed and available online on program website)
· Participate in the Tacoma Moon Festival as a volunteer or a festival goer
· Attend one of the post-event reflection sessions, scheduled on September 28 (5:00-6:00 pm) and October 3 (7:00-8:00 pm)
* If scheduling conflicts do not permit participation of the post-festival info session, interested students should contact Prof. Perry to make arrangements. Participation would still be possible if students go through training materials posted below.
Project Faculty and Student Volunteer Leaders/Coordinators
|Chinese Language and Culture Faculty:
Prof. Mengjun Li | Prof. Lotus Perry | Assistant Teacher Tina Yu
Experiential Learning Program
2016 Student Leaders:
Rachel Anderson | Trini Mak | Tashiro Newsum | Sarah Putulin