The Brock University Chinese Students’ and Scholars Association (BUCSSA) is trying to create a bridge between the Chinese and Brock communities by promoting Chinese culture through their annual Mid-Autumn Festival which honours one of the oldest Chinese traditions.
Celebrations for Mid-Autumn take place across East Asia in countries including China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam. However, families in other countries across the world observe the holiday by gathering for traditional celebratory dinners.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a chance for families to spend time together to carry out traditions. The most widely known way to celebrate the festival is by eating mooncakes — a dense, sweet pastry that is baked or steamed and typically enjoyed with tea. Most are filled with lotus paste and salted egg yolk, while others contain red bean or date paste, as well as fruit, nuts and seeds. It is common for individuals to give mooncakes to family members and colleagues as gifts during the celebratory period.
“Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the oldest traditional celebrations in Chinese history, it is symbolic because it is a day where [Chinese] people who are currently living outside of their hometown typically return home for a family reunion,” said Haizhi Xu, president of BUCSSA. “We want to celebrate our tradition and also want everyone who participates to enjoy the happiness that our culture can bring out.”
For 2019, the Mid-Autumn Festival was celebrated worldwide on September 13. BUCSSA will however be running their celebration on Friday, Sep. 27 in Jubilee Court. This event will be free and open to attend for all Brock students.
“Our association really hopes to share our Chinese traditional culture with all of our friends who come from different countries and different cultural backgrounds,” said Xu. “We will be setting up several interesting game booths around Jubilee Court during the festival and we will prepare meaningful Mid-Autumn Festival gifts for all who attend the event. In keeping with our tradition, we will also be giving away free mooncakes to those who attend.”
BUCSSA is the official Chinese student organization accredited by the Chinese Consulate General in Toronto. It is also the first Chinese student association established since the opening of Brock University.
“We were founded in 2003 and have been committed to helping Chinese students better understand Canadian culture and integrate into life in Canada. We also promote the spread and exchange of Chinese culture at Brock and in the surrounding Niagara region as much as we can,” said Xu. “In previous years, BUCSSA has actively organized a variety of activities for Brock students to engage in.”
BUCSSA has a big focus on students who are studying away from their hometown, like their executives. As such, the association tries to host events that encourage spending time with family and loved ones and also to support students who might not get to be with family.
Interested students are encouraged to follow the association’s social media outlets to keep up to date with their events for the year. The BUCSSA Facebook page is BrockU CSSA and their Instagram page is @bucssabrock. BUCSSA will also post about large events, like the Mid-Autumn Festival, on ExperienceBU.