Dragon Boat Festival offers Aussies insights into China's rich culture

Share This Post

Dragon Boat Festival offers Aussies insights into China's rich culture
Dragon Boat teams are seen during the Dragon boat racing at Darling Harbour in Sydney, Australia, on Feb. 5, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese communities throughout Australia have been buzzing with a celebratory vibe recently in preparation for the traditional Dragon Boat Festival which takes place on Friday, providing locals with an up-close encounter with one of the most vibrant events on China's rich cultural calendar.

Among those to taste the festival's delights this weekend is Erin, who works at the Museum of Chinese Australian History which is nestled in the Chinatown district of the Victorian capital of Melbourne.

Erin told Xinhua of her first experiences with zongzi, the "weird" sticky rice dumplings which she had tried during a visit to China. But Erin didn't realise the historical story behind it until she found the food showed up in a limited time in Australia every year.

"It's only in time when you've learnt more that you make the connection between. Oh, I used to see that food in China," Erin said of the aromatic treats which have played an integral part in the festival that dates back about 2,000 years ago.

"There's always so much to learn about Chinese customs … because they're very detailed and deep," she said. "You can see it at a sort of shallow level, or you can go deeper into the meaning and the tradition."

Erin hopes to share such cultural knowledge during the Dragon Boat Festival which will be celebrated at the museum on Sunday with a range of activities including zongzi making, folk storytelling and insights into the dramatic life of classical poet Qu Yuan (340 BC-278 BC) and the origins of the boats.

Museum chief executive Mark Wang told Xinhua that the annual event is a good opportunity to explain potentially puzzling traditions such as why the zongzi are thrown into the river during the festivity, and why people race on boats.

"The festival is really motivational, and I could tell them the answer to the questions most frequently asked about," Wang said.

Huynh, a regular museum visitor, grew up in Australia but is always eager to learn more about her Chinese ancestral background.

"It is good to know more about the culture through these kinds of festivals," she said. "It makes me feel closer to some parts of my identity."

"That's why we hold events for these major Chinese festivals," Wang added. "People here want to know the culture. We hope more of them can get an appreciation of Chinese culture as that can create social harmony in this multicultural society."

While taking time out to speak to Xinhua, Wang was happily appreciating his wife's delicious zongzi-making skills.

"I could eat as many as she gives me … three, four or five," he said.

Follow Chinafolk.org on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
spot_img

Related Posts

Archaeological find in Sanxingdui casts new light on ancient rituals

An exquisite and exotic-looking bronze statue recently excavated from the Sanxingdui site in Guanghan, Sichuan province, may offer tantalizing clues to decoding the mysterious religious rituals surrounding the famous 3,000-year-old archaeological site, scientific experts said.

Ethnic diversity and unity celebrated at the National Art Museum

Mounting exhibitions to show the history, culture and social life of China's ethnic groups has long been a commitment of the National Art Museum of China.

Cuban painter opens exhibit to pay tribute to Chinese cultural heritage

Cuban painter Alexander Hernandez Chang's one-man show "Heritage," which is now on at the Asia House Museum in Havana's Historic Center, pays tribute to his Chinese cultural root.

Ethnic diversity and unity celebrated at the National Art Museum

Mounting exhibitions to show the history, culture and social life of China's ethnic groups has long been a commitment of the National Art Museum of China.

Jay Chou’s virtual concerts attract over 70 million fans

Two concerts by pop icon Jay Chou were re-screened through online platforms under Tencent Music Entertainment Group, including QQ Music, Kugou and WeChat, attracting over 70 million viewers in total.

BRICS art museum directors address new challenges at online forum

Chief administrators of five BRICS art museums discussed the various roles of the art museum in a changing world, especially during a time with a pandemic, at a recent online conference.
- Advertisement -spot_img