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AAS Volunteers at 20th Moon Festival

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AAS Volunteers at 20th Moon Festival

Lion dancers perform their

Lion dancers perform their "afternoon dance."

Lion dancers perform their "afternoon dance."

Lion dancers perform their "afternoon dance."

Kenny Kim, Staff

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ASIAN DISTRICT – On September 29th, Westmoore’s Asian American Society (AAS) volunteers started to arrive and AAS Freshman Representative Chad K. looked around him. Performers were by the stage getting ready and people of the community wandered as food vendor’s called. In his mind, Chad knew that when the sun fell, lanterns would light up the night in the celebration of the Moon Festival in the heart of Asian District of Oklahoma City.

“We tried our best to set up a place for people to be able to spend time with their families,” freshman Chad K. said, “as well as to be able to enjoy the beauty of the Asian culture as a whole.”

The Moon Festival is, also, referred to as its Vietnamese name of Trung Thu, it is organized by the Vietnamese American Community of Oklahoma City and Vicinity. The event featured lion dancers, various food, and Southeastern Asian performances and some were by Westmoore students.

Freshmen Vivian H. and Anna H. waited by the side of the stage to play the piano and violin. Anna wore a beautiful purple dress while Vivian H. wore an orange traditional Vietnamese dress or áo dài. Even though it wasn’t her first time playing, Anna couldn’t help but shake with nerves. Vivian comforted her friend. Despite her nonchalant attitude, she was just anxious on the inside. They were notified only a week before the festival and immediately began practicing. The audience rewarded them with  applause and cheered for their duet of “Senbonzakura.”

“The song is very lively and upbeat, it helped affect the mood,” freshman Vivian H. said, “and since we found out about the performance a week before we had to perform, we practiced for five hours the first day and then every other day we practiced two to three hours a night.” 

As the sun set, the sky became dark and was lit by the bright September moon. The AAS volunteers carried black trash bags onto the stage. In them were 1000 colorful paper lanterns and candle sticks. Soon, traditional lion dancers would perform all the around the park while kids followed behind them with lanterns. Children ran up onto the stage to the volunteers to get the lanterns. Chad (a volunteer) smiled. He continued to work as he remembered following the lions himself when he was young. Now, he was handing out said lanterns himself. 

“By handing out the lanterns, I wanted to recreate the same experience I had when I was a kid,” Chad K. said. “I wanted to show the lion dance scene and the lanterns being handed out and being able to see a visual representation of peace and tranquility.”  

A whistle blew and lions started marching around the park. Children ran to see the lions as their parents tried to catch up them. It was a beautiful sight and one that most people end up remembering for the rest of their lives. The Moon Festival is marked as an amazing event and Westmoore’s AAS was part of making memories. 

Additional information: Vietnamese American Community Facebook

Video: OKNews Lunar Moon Festival Video

 

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