Different cultures merged together organically

By Li Lingyun

We are from different countries, we grew up in different hemispheres, and we are edified by the different cultures of the East and the West. But our cultures are merged together organically here in Moscow, Idaho.

Homecoming week is a time to reconnect with alumni, students and friends on campus, in Moscow, across Idaho and around the World. Several days ago, we got the news that the University of Idaho would celebrate its 107th Homecoming week from Sunday, Oct 18th  through Saturday Oct 24th, there would be a HERO’S Homecoming Parade on Main street on the last day. Vandals were preparing all the things they could imagine for the coming parade before the celebratory week. All around the city there were busy scenes, shop windows changed their advertisements to Heroes, Go Vandals and Moscow Bears. Banners were everywhere, and everyone was in the celebratory mood.

The UICI, as a part of The University of Idaho, would also participate in the parade! We couldn’t help cheering when we found out. The good news excited the entire UICI staff. It would be the first time for the UICI to take part in the parade. It’s also a first for me, I had never been in a parade before!

We, the Confucius Institute teachers were supposed to choose clothes for the coming parade. We selected some different styles of traditional clothes that would represent China. We selected a Han suit, a Tang suit, Taiji clothes, Tibetan garments, Sinkiang garments and so on.

Early in the morning on Oct 24th , we went to the entrance of the parade to check in. While we were waiting I saw many troops who were dressed up in their best for the parade. I recognized that they are from different teams, occupations, and hobbies. They was a Brass band, Drum band, Saxophone band, Dancing team, Aerobics team, Ice hockey team, Horsemanship team, Cricket team, Primary School team, Middle School team, Women of the Moose Club and many more teams that I could not name because I have never seen such outfits before.

After a long time waiting, eventually it was our turn. I have never been so excited to be in such an activity and I was infected by the enthusiasm in the air. As we went down to the Main street, Jianjian and Dangdang were in the front with a Taiji Fan in hand, Jing and Yan holding the Confucius Institute Banner followed them, Juan and I performed Taiji Fan movements while proceeding, Lu and Anna behind us also showed some Taiji fan movements, Dr. Xue,  Dr. Liu and Hong took up the last position with there Taiji Fans.

Many people gathered on both of the roadsides, including parents, children and babies in their strollers. Everyone was well dressed for the grand annual event.

Maybe because of our gorgeous clothes or because of the Taiji Fan movements we performed, we attracted a large audience. They cheered, applauded and some even imitated our Taiji Fan maneuvers. We greeted them and communicated with them. They were interested in Chinese culture and were caught by the Chinese style.

China and America are different countries, they developed in different roads, and people in the two countries speak different languages. But here Chinese elements and American activities merged together organically. They appealed to each other and it was harmonious. Americans want to know more about China and Chinese want to communicate with Americans. It is just the right task for the Confucius institute staff.

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