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學部留學生端午節文化探源活動回顧(DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL OUTING PROGRAMME)
發布時間: 2021-06-18 17:36:03   作者:本站編輯   來源: 本站原創   瀏覽次數:

Reporter: Okagbue Ekene Francis, Ph. D Student, 2020 session

Introduction

 

What does Dragon Boat Festival mean? /端午節是什么?

Duanwu (端午) in Chinese history simply means “starting or opening horse event”, that is the first “horse day” (as Chinese zodiac and calendar system stipulates). Illustratively stating, the wu(午) in the Duanwu (端午) possesses similar homophonic sound as five (五) which presumably set to be celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month. Furthermore, The Dragon Boat Festival symbolic snack is “rice dumpling” (粽子), paired with “realgar wine” (xionghuangjiu).

Historical Background of Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival is set out to commemorate the efforts and contributions of a great scholar Qu Yuan in uniting the ancient nations of China. Qu Yuan was a renowned poet and stateman of Chu Kingdom in the third century in B.C.E. His scholarly work resonates widely to his services to the nation. Sadly, in his course of his devoted services to the people, he was falsely accused of conspiracy by his fellow serving ministers and was banished and exiled by the king. In the exile, Qu Yuan kept communicating with his sovereign people through poems which he used in addressing the maladies in the society. In the quest for righting the misunderstandings, he drowned himself at the Miluo River in 278 BCE at the age of 61. Being loved and largely respected by his people, the people began to search for him when they got the news, in the process of rescuing his life and saving his body from being eating by the animals in the river, the residents of Chu threw in so many rice dumplings to keep sharks, whales and other aquatic animals away from him, unfortunately they couldn’t save him. Sequel to that, every year, Dragon Boat festival is widely celebrated in remembrance of the attempt in rescuing great Qu Yuan.

In keeping the memory of this solemn festival alive, faculty of education university organized outing programme for her international students, the outing programme was at the long established “Agricultural Museum” in Chongqing. The museum is personified as ancestral heritage with many years of history, it possesses numerous agricultural artifacts the ancient agriculturists and farmers used in crops and food production.

Additionally, the museum is embodied with the glories of the fore-fathers and their struggles in safeguarding the communities and society, keeping people alive through farming. The descendant of the great farmer who is the recent caretaker of the museum succinctly explained the functions of these farming equipment for instance; ploughing machine, planter, and other minor non-automated improvised agricultural equipment that aid them in planting and sustaining themselves.

Surprisingly, we experienced the astute ingenuities of the fore-gone famers through the magnificent hand-craft machinery developed in producing the farm produce like the non-motorized Rice Milling Machine, hand pulleyed seed grinding, regardless of the non-existence of modern agricultural machines and equipment they endured the struggles and created thought-provoking machines which later took the shape of the modern farming mechanized tools. The attenders of this event hallowed and appreciated the resilience and tenacity of these great heroes in their sublime discoveries and hard-work to farming. Most heartwarming episode was, the homogeneity of agricultural culture that exists between so many countries that we all recognized in the museum. Students that graced the programme are from different parts of the world ranging from Africa, America, Europe, Asia attested to the similarities of culture that was displayed at the museum in many ways which proves that we all are connected in one aspect of culture or the other.

Teaching and Interactive Session

Teaching session was held at the museum by one of the esteemed professors of Southwest University, who explicitly explained the origin, culture and history of dragon boat festival and how the practices of it have glued the country’s unity into harmonious coexistence of between citizens. More so, there are agricultural significance and nexus with this prestigious festival in china, traditionally, which could citizens tendering to their farms and farm produce, processing some leaves for protection against snake bikes and hazardous poison in killing citizens. The philosophy and ideology of this act is for life preservation which is the lesson of the dragon boat festival.

However, we practicalized the anti-snake bite mixture and how to apply it in some strategic areas of our bodies to scare away snakes and other reptiles like scorpions, centipede, millipede, spider, with dangerous inherent poisons in attacking farmers, and non-farmers in their residences.

Students in attendance raised lots of salient questions for an in-depth understanding of the festival and its cultural significance which they appreciated and expressed their gratefulness of experiencing this cultural exposition.

Games and Skill Learning

The programme was richly fun filled with interesting game and cultural skill learning acquisition. The atmosphere was lively and every participant was energetic both teachers, children and students as well. We learned about five crucial poisons and their cultural significance. In furtherance, students are grouped into two to play games by targeting the drawn five animals tagged on five stands, throwing and hitting the center of the papered drawn reptiles, which seemingly has semblance with archery in Chinese culture as introduced in the ancient Chinese learning and Chinese Education Thought by the great scholar and sage of all times Confucius.

In addition, students were tutored on how to do Chinese wrist beading, and there was affirmative and active participation by everyone which they enjoyed doing with smiling faces and excitement. The final product of the braiding serves as souvenirs to each and everyone of us that attended the dragon boat programme. We also learned how to make rice dumpling which we practiced individually.

In summary, this programme united everybody like one family, there was a strong force that bind each of us together regardless our cultural backgrounds, the obvious reality we acknowledged from the Dragon Boat festival outing programme at the agricultural museum was that we are all related to one another in so many ways, although there are cultural differences in our different contexts but the cultural similarities and homogenous relatedness in our cultures are more than the differences we have, this shows we are all siblings culturally. We cherished the experience, and grateful to the management of Faculty of Education, Southwest University, Chongqing, China for given us these beautiful memories of this pristine cultural knowledge of Dragon Boat Festival. 

We are the Faculty of Education, Southwest University Family wishing everybody Happy Dragon Boat Festival!!!


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