“Imagine being in a different country and having to celebrate Thanksgiving without your family…” Molly Watkins, head of planning proposed.
The Case Western Reserve University Asian Mid-Autumn Festival is a fairly new tradition that gives our international students a little slice of home. On Wednesday, Oct. 4, Thwing Center was transformed into an interactive picture of Asian culture enjoyed by a large percentage of campus. Our international students at CWRU can’t all be with their families, so the university wanted to bring a little bit of home to each student.
“We had the first meeting in July and we have met multiple times since then,” said Stephanie Weisfeld, a member of the planning committee. “Once October hit we were meeting weekly and also working on our own jobs and projects outside of these meetings.”
The Center for International Affairs, Office of Multicultural Affairs, First-Year Experience & Family Programs and the Provost’s Office were all involved in planning.
CWRU wanted to have this festival to help international students acclimate a little easier to new surroundings. Watkins discussed what this meant to the students.
“We want our students to feel welcome and feel as though this is their home away from home,” he said. “This event is for those students, specifically our Asian international students and make them know that we appreciate their traditions.”
There was comfort food like traditional dishes and desserts such as mooncakes. There were also groups there such as International Club, where people could go and play games, interact and learn more about the traditions all while cultural music filled the air.
First-year student Yvonne Pan said, “I really loved experiencing my family’s traditions in a new way and of course getting some mooncake.”
It was very clear that the food was delicious as the line for food was down the steps from the second floor in Thwing all the way out of the door. Even with the long wait, it was all worth it.
The Cultural Series will be continuing this tradition next year and invites all to come and enjoy the Asian Mid-Autumn festival.
As Watkins said, “This is an opportunity for everyone on campus to come together and celebrate cultural diversity as one CWRU family.”