■ Ashley Cui
Hi everyone! My name is Ashley Cui (11) and I was the student reporter from the Asia Fest. The Asia Fest was a big event with food and activity booths, and there were also performances and dragon boat racing competitions.
I would mainly like to tell you about two things: the activity booths and the performances.
There were plenty of people that had volunteered to run booths so young kids like me could win raffles, get
balloons, and have fun. I interviewed 3 people to see what their booth was about and why they had volunteered to run them.
The first person I interviewed was a mom. My first question was “Why did you come to run this booth?” She had said that it was because she wanted to help the organization and hear what others thought about the festival. She wanted to know how she could make it better and get a better understanding on how others felt about their products and service.
The second booth I interviewed was called “Custom Laser”. The girl I talked to and her husband were running the business. I asked her what her business was about and she told me that they make and sell candles and jewelry. All of it was hand-made with soy wax. I also popped up with another question and asked why she came to this event. She said it was because she used to come with her mom when she was younger and now that she had her own family, she was happy to come and support the festival with a business.
The third and last person I interviewed had a sign up that said “East Cloud Kung Fu”. She had laid out knives and fans. I asked her where the knives were from because you don’t often see a sword that big laying around. She actually said that it was her’s from when she did kung fu, and mentioned that they were performing at 2:30pm. I did not get to watch it but I was sure it was good. My very last question was
“What do the fans do in kung fu?” Her response was like this: “The fans can be used to put blades on, and they are also very distracting with the noise that happens when you open them quickly. You are also able to hide weapons behind them.” That was a good response from her.
I saw one of my teachers up on the stage and decided to interview her. She was a super nice person and kindly answered all my questions.
My first question was “How long have you been in that dance group?” and she said that she had been in it for about 5-6 years now. Then I asked why they had come to the festival and she said exactly this: “This festival is good; see, so many people wanted to come! So, my club here also decided that yes, we could join
this festival to show our newly learned dance. Also, it’s not our first time, I checked my record and it’s my 4th time dancing on that stage.“
My finale question was if her club had performed the dances somewhere other than the Asia Fest. She ended the question by saying, “No, I’m a very beginner dancer,” (even though I thought she was good) “but this encourages people to think that they can dance at any age, at any basic level.”
Overall, the Asia Fest was a great experience and a wonderful place to be at. You can go next year and have an amazing time even without interviewing anybody and I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience at the ASIA FEST!
Dragon Boat Race
■唐子傅 Teddy Tang
Hey there, I’m Teddy Tang, an eleven-year-old who had the opportunity to work as a young reporter at the eighth annual Asia Fest in 2023.”
At the Asia Fest, there was a fantastic mix of food, activities, performances, prizes, and the thrilling dragon boat race. While working alongside other reporters, my main focus was on covering the exciting dragon boat race.”
But first, allow me to discuss what the competition is and why it has become an annual tradition for us.
The Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Chinese celebration observed on the fifth day of the fifth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, typically falling in early June in the Gregorian calendar.
The event honors the ancient poet Qu Yuan and features dragon boat races and the eating of sticky rice dumplings called zongzi. It’s a folk celebration involving worship, prayers for luck and protection, entertainment, and food.
On that day, numerous races unfolded, and it was particularly thrilling to witness many victors emerge during the most crucial moments. Below, you’ll find the race outcomes, the triumphant participants, and the time it took each of them to navigate their way to the finish line at the lake.
Let me tell you what happened during today’s races.
The races are split into three groups. The A group has professional dragon boaters, and the B group has amateur dragon boaters
“Organized Chaos”，the subject of my later interview, secured a close second-place finish in the A division championship final, trailing by a mere 0.2 seconds. In contrast, the CAFA/RACL Phantom Dragons claimed the top spot in the B group championship finals with a comfortable lead of just over 2 seconds.
I interviewed two teams, the Raleigh Dragon Boat Club, and the Organized Chaos.
“We have practices every day, but only if you don’t have other distractions, like children. The sport is a very good way of exercising, and maintaining a good shape. We even have an 80 year old in our team. ” Says the Raleigh Dragon Boat Club president Alicia Koblansly.
The Organized Chaos team practiced twice a week for ten years, and had won the race before the interview.
Why do so many people love the sport? Dragon boat racing is an ancient tradition, much like our family’s heritage. It teaches us the importance of working together and overcoming challenges. Just like in a race, every person in the team needs to cooperate, just like a team in a business. Everyone must work together, move towards a common goal, and only then can we achieve success, much like sharing and celebrating victory together.
8th Annual Asia Festival 2023:Cultural Cuisine
On September 16th, the eighth annual Asia Festival was held at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. This event was made up of many different aspects of Asian culture including delicious foods, impressive dragon boat races, and breathtaking performances. Many people showed up to the event to enjoy all of the different
activities, especially trying all of the amazing food!
One of the most popular attractions were the food vendors. Long lines of people could be found at almost any food stand or food truck, waiting for a tasty bite or an appetizing meal. Over a dozen different vendors shared a bite into their culture with cuisines from China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, and many more.
As I talked to more and more vendors, I began to realize that behind every piece of food you ate was somebody else’s hard work and culture. In an interview with 趙姐烘培 (Sister Zhao’s Bakery), the owner shared with me a little bit about what goes on behind the scenes in the mooncake making business. She has been to this event seven times but has been making traditional Cantonese, Taiwanese, and Shanghai style mooncakes for over 20 years. When asked about why she often comes out to support this event, she answered, “I think supporting the traditional Chinese delicious mooncake pastry is an honor and to let more people know what is the food culture of China”. She also talked about the importance of making all of the
ingredients by hand and baking her mooncakes fresh with no added preservatives.
She says, “We respect all the food, especially the mooncakes”.
Another popular vendor was Yukiya Bakery, where people could purchase freshly made Japanese baked goods and bentos. As a first timer here, the owner talked about how she looked forward to seeing and feeling all of the different cultures. In terms of bringing her own culture she says, “I want everybody to know my Japanese culture and my Japanese food so that’s why I came to this event”.
Many other food vendors came out as well including 刘大姐厨房 (Sister Liu’s Kitchen), Green Onions Bistro, Vietnamese-American Association of Raleigh (VAAR),NC Taiwanese Cultural Arts, Golden K Dog, and many more. Thanks to all of these food vendors, we were able to taste many different cultures and have an amazing time at the eighth Annual Asia Festival!