ASiA hosts Zhong Qiu Jie and Chuseok celebration


Caroline Plunkett/Chronicle

ASiA Leaders Glory Ho ’24, Sabine Kang ’24 and Assistant Features Editor Dylan Graff ’24 serve mooncakes to students.

Caroline Plunkett

Asian Students in Action (ASiA) celebrated the Chinese festival of Zhong Qiu Jie and the Korean celebration Chuseok on the Quad Monday. Students celebrated with lantern decorating and traditional desserts including sweet Korean rice cakes called tteok and Chinese mooncakes.

Chuseok is the Korean Thanksgiving and is celebrated with food and family,according to ASIA Thanks to the ancestors are given for the autumn harvest through a ceremony called charye where a table is filled with food prepared by the family.

Similarly to Chuseok, the day Zhong Qiu Jie begins is determined by the lunar calendar and is celebrated with family and showing gratitude for a successful harvest. Zhong Qiu Jie celebrates the autumn full moon, according to New World Encyclopedia. Mooncakes are divided and shared among family members to honor the moon. Prayer, especially to the Moon goddess Chang’e, is important during the festival and lanterns are lit in the hope of prosperity for the future.

Julia Im ’23 said the return to the club as the new school year begins and the return to family are intertwined.

“We have a lot of family aspects to our club so obviously we do a lot of fun stuff but we also hold a lot of serious discussions [about] racial identity,” Im said. “I think for me, having a lot of different sides [of the club] is how we create a family. I’m Korean, so we celebrate Chuseok around this time.We get to show ‘this is our club and this is what we do on campus.’ By hanging these [lanterns] around campus I hope it increases visibility [for Asians at the school].”

Preston Yeh ’23 said having affinity groups like ASiA on campus is extremely important.

“With the rise of Asian American hate crimes, there’s a bigger need than ever to have Asian American affinity groups since the concerns have changed from problems like the model minority myth and exoticism to concerns about safety,” Yeh said. “The first day of ASiA, seeing all the people, not just Asians in a room to support this cause, that was very meaningful to me. Even if you’re not Asian, you should join [the club].”

Arely Monterroso ’24 said getting to experience Asian holidays and traditions was also impactful for the students who are not members of ASiA.

“My favorite part was being able to experience all of the different foods,” Monterroso said. “Being able to see the smiles on everyone’s faces as we all celebrated such magnificent cultures was amazing.”