By Xin Zhen ’19
In the interest of full disclosure, Xin Zhen ’19 is a club member of The Chinese Cultural Association. The Chinese Cultural Association (CCA) celebrates 5,000 years worth of Chinese history. Members of the club learn about traditions within the Chinese community through events and meetings.
The club was created by Linda Zhang ’20 and Jonathan Li ’20, the president and vice president of the club. They worked together to form CCA hoping to attract students of different ages and ethnicities.
Club meetings are held Mondays, during eleventh period after school, and are advised by Ms. Khrisna Alvarez, a chemistry teacher.
The new club was created in the Spring semester of 2018 and has since gained many members. The club has attracted over 40 members since its formation, many of which speaking different Chinese dialects ranging from the well-known, like mandarin and cantonese, to a rarer dialect called toishanese. The club has also gathered many students of different cultures and ethnicities such as those of the Mexican and Jewish cultures, as well as those members from other parts of Asia.
Other schools have similar clubs, such as Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Tech.
“Our club is unique because Midwood is more diverse than most high schools. What this creates is a melting pot where different students from different ethnicities attend our club to learn about the Chinese culture and bringing their own culture making the club unique,” said Zhang ’20.
Sarah Gur ’20 said, “I joined the club because I genuinely like the Chinese culture and want to educate and involve myself in it more.”
According to the David Liu ’20, the club itself is special because it actually participates in events that teach students about the Chinese culture, unlike other clubs which only take place in school.
Updates on meetings and events are posted in the Facebook group called Chinese Culture Association with the cover photo drawn by Sammi Lin ’19 of the group. This group is a way for the president and vice president to post and inform the members of the meeting times and places for events as well as changes in club meeting dates. The events are coordinated by Zhang ’20 and Li ’20.
“During meetings, the members listen to the president and vice president address plans for upcoming events as well as reflect upon recent events. We watch videos put together by Linda with the photos from the events. It’s a fun experience and the videos show the excitement the club members have at each event,” said Josias Gonzalez ’19.
Ryan Chen ’20 said, “The events that this club participates in are not too well planned. Despite the accuracy of plans for the location of events as discussed by our president and the corporations, there are often other clubs and schools that also partake in these events, leaving our president unsure of whether members should assist in. Each event is very enjoyable, although some may be very chaotic and disorganized, being able to spend time with friends and helping the community is always great.”
The club has since attended two different events taking place in Manhattan, the Lunar New Year Parade and the Lunar New Year Firecracker Festival.
“I attended the New year Firecracker Festival which was a lot of fun. We helped out local companies set up their booths and made the festival more fun. I was put into a Pluto costume to walk around in to take pictures with children. I was able to give the children fun experiences and I also had fun dressed up as a Disney character,” said Liu ’19.
In addition to the Chinese New Year Festival and the Lunar New Year Parade, the club also participated in the Asian festival partnering up with the C-Pop Club, K-Pop Club, and the South Asian Student Association which took place on March 14.
“The Asian Festival is a show where a variety of cultures from Asia come together to participate in an exciting and well-coordinated event. The event celebrates the unique cultures and traditions that exist in Asia itself and shows the diversity of Midwood,” said Li ’20.
The Asian Festival included acts such as Asian Legends, an instrumental called Moon Represents My Heart, C-pop dances and vocals, and a South Asian Fashion Show.
According to Zhang ’20, many CCA members in the festival are participating in performances such as dancing, singing, origami, and playing instruments. Many members are also assisting backstage with lights, sound effects, and the overall organization of the event.
The club will be hosting many more events in the future that don’t necessarily have to do with the Chinese culture.
“The club doesn’t only focus on the Chinese culture but rather a club that teaches you about Chinese culture through events and is a club open to new ideas,” said Gonzalez ’20.
According to Li, it’s not too late to join the club and there are many more fun events to come.