Although there are many clubs on campus, the Chinese Culture Club stands out amongst them because of its unique and friendly community.
“Our club is different because we are so welcoming. We want everyone to be a part of our culture, regardless of their prior experience with it,” said Mindy Chiang, a Chinese teacher, and club mentor. “This is my 14th year with this club and I can see that every year our members come from more diverse backgrounds.”
The club strives to share Chinese culture by creating a number of opportunities for its members to participate in various traditional celebrations.
“We usually celebrate events that are a major part of Chinese culture. For example, last year we celebrated Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival. We show off some of the most common traditions, but most families have their own ways of celebrating,” said Olivia Troy, a junior. “There are traditions that are ‘universal’ like the red envelopes or big banquets, but each family adds something of their own to those traditions.”
Although events are an important part of the club, the majority of the time, members share different kinds of traditional or popular Asian foods. The club uses various foods to emphasize Chinese culture and create a welcoming environment for all.
“Food is a really important part of our culture because it brings families together and creates room for discussion,” Troy said.
On top of creating a welcoming atmosphere for the club members, food serves as an education outlet that teaches members about something new about Chinese culture.
“There is always a lot of food in this club. Whether it is during a regular meeting or a large festival, food is always a part of the experience,” said Flora Li, a sophomore. “For example, one time we learned all about the traditional utensils and how to use them during meals. ”
In addition, the club enriches its members’ understanding of Chinese culture by creating various activities for them to complete during the meetings.
“During the meeting, we first give a presentation and explain any of the activities planned for that day,” Troy said. “We usually focus on the activities and crafts that are representative of the season and the holidays that are celebrated.”
The Chinese Culture Club provides a number of opportunities for Carlmont students to refine their understanding of the Chinese culture.
“I think it is very important to have cultural clubs like the Chinese Culture Club,” Chiang said. “For such a diverse place as America, it is important to have organizations that build an understanding of all the different cultures. Understanding brings acceptance and tolerance.”