I went to the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival in Kauffman Hall today as a cultural event. The Mid-Autumn Festival takes place on the full moon during the eighth month of the Chinese calendar. Unfortunately, most of the talking at the event was in Chinese, but here is what I understood. Also, I only was able to attend about 15 minutes of it because most of it happened during my English Composition class.
At the front door, I was greeted on by a woman, probably a professor, who greeted me and asked me if I spoke Chinese. I think that it is likely that she meant to ask me if I spoke Mandarin. I said that I did not speak Chinese, which is the truth. This woman then offered me something called a mooncake. She said that mooncakes are pastries that are filled with some type of spread (I believe it was lotus seed), and that mooncakes are the special food of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The mooncake I got was in a pink cupcake wrapper. It was round and golden, with Chinese characters decorating the top of it. It tasted somewhat sweet, maybe similar in sweetness to this Iranian candy called gaz (gaz is eaten at Nowruz, which is the Iranian New Year). The texture of the filling was a lot like gaz but even the pastry part reminded me of it in flavor. It is a subtle sweetness with a nutty (meaning like tree nuts) profile. Anyway, it tasted good.
Then I had some really hot orange Chinese tea to drink. By orange, I do not mean the fruit. I mean it was a translucent orange. The flavor of the tea was not that noticeable. It mostly tasted like tea. It may have been slightly more acidic than your average tea, but that is about it.
Then I saw a brief presentation. By brief, I mean it lasted between one and two minutes. In this presentation, a man told the audience, in English, that every week at the Couch Cafeteria there will be a table where people can practice Chinese over lunch. Now, this has nothing to do with a non-Chinese (Mandarin?) speaker like me, but I thought it was a good idea. I should investigate whether there might be a program like this but for French.
Anyway, I think it was good to go, even though I probably could have got more out of it if I had been able to attend more of it.