October 17, 2006

Chinese Moon Festival

Hello, all! This is Garland, doing a bit of blogging. This past weekend (Oct 14) we attended a Chinese Moon Festival at University of Illinois in Champaign. It was a bit of culture shock. While we attended a festival at Illinois State University last year, the ISU festival had an "elementary school" feel, with lots of Chinese children and a mix of Asian and American parents. In contrast, the Chinese Moon Festival was filled to the brim with Chinese families participating in an event resembling a county fair talent show. Acts included traditional folk songs, a Chinese yo-yo demonstration, and songs played on a traditional instrument called an erhu. If you have never heard an erhu, consider buying the sountrack to the movie Hero. This Chinese martial arts flick, starring Jet Li, uses the erhu in many of its musical numbers.

Unfortunately, much of the program was in Chinese, and the screen displaying open captioned translations was out of view. As a result we had to enjoy the program in Chinese, with occasional translations offered by the speakers. We had a good time though, visiting with another couple, Bert and Dawn Rawlings, and their daughter Daisy. Dawn and Bert are beginning the paperwork for their second Chinese adoption through Lifelink, so it was nice to share experiences with them. Plus, Bert gave us an awesome tour of the University of Illinois campus amidst the tailgaters and pre-game excitement of an Illini football game at Memorial Stadium. We dined at an awesome restaurant, Chipotle Grill, before the program. Chipotle is great. It's similar to Qdoba restaurants, another of our favorites. Its owned by McDonalds, and no, they don't sell Big Macs. But they do have great Burritos, Quesadillas, and Tacos, all prepared before your eyes.