Chinese Club immerses students in Chinese culture

The club opens up unique opportunities to experience cultures that are not available in the classroom

Mihika Sathe, staff writer

Cultural clubs at Edina High School provide an environment for students to grow in their understanding of cultures that they normally wouldn’t be exposed to in their everyday lives. One particular club, the Chinese Club, is taking this cultural understanding further by celebrating Chinese cultural festivals through food and activities. “Our most recent meeting was October 1st. We made mooncakes, which are traditional Chinese food,” senior Claire Carlson said.

The meeting on Oct. 1 was a celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, an important cultural celebration in China. “The Mid-Autumn Festival is called the moon festival in China… [it is] a celebration of the harvest and the full moon… where families gather together to enjoy the food and the moon,” club advisor and Chinese teacher Chloe Lu said.

The meeting gave students a deeper understanding of Chinese culture because it was a more immersive experience than their experiences in Chinese class. The meeting started off with a short presentation that taught the students about the history and traditions behind the Mid-Autumn Festival. Then, the students at the meeting made mooncakes, a traditional dessert eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Lu taught the students how to make the mooncakes and students were able to add elements of their own culture to them, like filling the mooncakes with peanut butter or Nutella.

Throughout the year, the Chinese Club has planned out different activities for students to learn more about Chinese culture, traditions, and festivals. “We have three things associated with food this year. We made mooncakes; we are making bubble tea in November, and we are going to have a stir-fry competition,” Lu said. In addition to making food, the Chinese Club plans on watching the movie Crazy Rich Asians and playing traditional Chinese sports like Chinese hacky sack.

Students of all backgrounds are welcome to attend Chinese Club meetings, even if they don’t speak Chinese or know very much about Chinese culture. “I think [being in Chinese Club] is an opportunity because we can do something hands on. It’s not just for Chinese students, it’s for the entire student body who [are] interested in Chinese culture,” Lu said.