I am Kyi Sin, a new student from Myanmar in Silk Road School. As Myanmar has a significant overseas Chinese community, I am no stranger to moon cakes and Mid-Autumn festival but I am still curious to figure out the true spirit of Mid-Autumn festival in Mainland.
We met up with the host families at the community center of Genway Hyde Park on the morning of 13th September. Me and my roommate Ratul, a fluent Chinese speaker from India was luckily assigned into the same group. Much to our surprise, Ms.Wangjing, can speak English very well and found that it was her third time hosting international students from Universities in Suzhou. Preparing everything for two foreign students out of what should have been “family-only time” made me felt uneasy and grateful at the same time even before I stepped into their home.
On our way to their home, we had exchanged some interests and found out that the older son of the family is playing a card game largely based on my favorite Chinese novel, the Romance of Three Kingdoms. He rushed into his room once we are seated in their homeand introduced us to the playstyle of the game. Later, he showed his amazing skills with Cardan’s rings or Chinese rings, believed to have been invented by Zhuge Liang during the Three Kingdoms period. This little genius solved the puzzle,which could have been a challenging one even for adults within a few minutes.
Then, the most interesting part of the day comes, dumplings! Dumpling making is not the easiest task especially with chopsticks. While struggling with Dumplings, I found the real meaning behind Mid-Autumn festival and the dumplings. It is all about family and having a good time together. There is no better experience than making dumplings through shared efforts and enjoy the fruits of hard work with your family members. Although our families are hundreds of miles away from us, Ratul& I felt like we are back in home with our family. We found our second family in Suzhou!
We also had some delicious barbeques with our host family in the park near the family’s apartment. I overjoyed and had forgotten to take any photos of our barbeque party. At the end of the day, we head out to Jinji Lake for a walk over the famous pedestrian bridge before we finally go back to our dorm.
It was such an unforgettable experience and this will serve as an important step to understand the values of Chinese society in next two years.
Written, photos taken by：Kyi Sin
About the Writer:
Kyi Sin is currently studying Master in Contemporary Chinese Studies at Silk Road School of Renmin University of China.
Kyi Sin had graduated with Bachelor in English Literature from Dagon University, Myanmar. He also got a diploma in Civil Engineering from West Yangon Technological University.
He was a licensed tourist guide and a travel consultant back in Myanmar for the last six years. He participated in many campaigns to promote sustainable tourism in Myanmar.
He was also active in Myanmar's politicsand a member of National League of Democracy party (NLD), current ruling party of Myanmar. He was elected as the delegate of Yangon Region for the second party youth congress in 2018 and was a member of township executive committee for Kamayut Township.