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September 22, 2021

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Shanghai expats get a taste of rich Mid-Autumn culture

Expats in Shanghai gathered at a downtown hotel to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival yesterday. They savored traditional festive delicacies and enjoyed cultural performances.

The gathering was organized by the Shanghai government and featured Chinese folk cultural displays such as sugar-figure blowing, sugar painting and paper cuttings as well as Kunqu Opera performance.

Some of the expats were attending the event with their families and friends. Many of them were members of the “Shanghai Through Our Eyes Club,” which was established in June after the release of the short video series “Shanghai Through Our Eyes.”

Traditional festival food was served during the event such as different types of mooncakes and steamed taros and edamame.

Frenchman Yann Bozec, managing director for Asia Pacific of Tapestry, the New York-based house of modern luxury lifestyle brand, enjoyed the event with his Chinese wife and 11-year-old daughter.

“I like Chinese culture a lot,” said Bozec. “A lot of it is different from our culture, and there are so many things in Chinese culture that we keep discovering.”

“We have lived in Shanghai for more than 10 years. And since I am Chinese, we always celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival,” his wife added.

Cameron Hume, an Australian, also attended the party with his Chinese wife and two daughters. He is the chief executive officer of a Shanghai-based foreign currency exchange company. Their daughter was dressed in hanfu, a traditional Chinese attire.

“With our double cultural background, our two daughters are keen on Chinese culture. It was really nice to have this opportunity to let them feel more of it,” said Hume’s wife.

Foreign students were among those who attended the event.

“My favorite part about the festival is eating mooncakes,” said Zarkamol Munisov from Uzbekistan, a PhD student at Shanghai University’s Global Studies. “It’s amazing, the last time I had one with xiandanhuang (salted egg yolk) filling. But this one is perfect.”

Munisov thinks culture helps him to understand Chinese people more.

The activity was also an opportunity for foreigners living alone in Shanghai to communicate with other expats and local residents.

“I hope such events are held every year because I like them so much,” said Armenian musician Astrid Poghosyan, a violinist with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra who speaks fluent Chinese.

“I really enjoyed the party because it was really a good chance for us to enjoy food and communicate, especially for expats like me who are far from home, because the festival is about the reunion with families.”

She performed at the event. Poghosyan has been in Shanghai for over 11 years and started to play with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra after graduating from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.


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