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JCHE's multicultural event brings neighbors together to share customs and celebrate

Posted: February 14, 2012

I recently attended a “cultural café” whereby our Chinese residents shared their cultural heritage with all our residents.  For over a month, a group of Chinese residents have been planning ways to meaningfully expose the traditions that are part of their lives.  They succeeded both in enlightening all of us about the many facets of Chinese culture and in generating appreciation for the beauty of the music, dance and art of China.

We were treated to a chorus of men and women, all in formal garb (beautiful red jackets on the women, suits and red ties on the men) singing several songs in Chinese; two dance troupe performances; a solo dance and another solo tai chi demonstration; and an explanation of the significance of the year of the dragon.  One gentlemen impressed everyone by doing his own translations—speaking first in Chinese, next in Russian, then in English—to great applause from an appreciative crowd.

We had fabulous spring rolls, egg drop soup, lo mein noodles, fried rice, chicken stir-fry and fruit and fortune cookies—all prepared exquisitely by JCHE’s talented chefs.  Quite a celebration!

What struck me most was the attentiveness and eagerness of our non-Chinese tenants to learn from their neighbors—unlike other performances, no one whispered anything to their tablemate during showtime, no one just focused on the food (despite its excellence).  And from what I observed, the Chinese residents were so proud of their performing neighbors—showing that by taking photos and strong applause.

At this café, I drank in more than good coffee or tea—I absorbed an even deeper appreciation for what true sharing and mutual respect.


Enjoy lovely images from the Cultural Cafe 2012 here!

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