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Keeping Up With Maury
The Asian Festival
by Maury Feren


The Asian community is committed to integrating into the greater Cleveland area. Their annual Asian fair generally that takes place in May and has drawn tremendous crowds in a two day program they receive 25-35,000 visitors. Out of the blue they have made a tremendous ethic impact.

This is what brings me to my topic of the day. John Carroll University decided to plan a program that would approach this subject in a different way. It was planned on a much smaller scale in an entirely different pattern.

I don't think we as Clevelanders are aware of the large population of Asian students that are in this area including John Carroll, Case Western Reserve, and others. This is what makes this story so interesting. I don't know the numbers at John Carroll but they seem to be quite large from the participation in the program from what I saw.

The program was advertised to a limited amount of people entitled "The Asia Festival 3:30p-5:30". It began with a beautiful poetry reading in Chinese. In the Dolan science building in the University. Although none of the words were distinguishable melodious held the audience spell bound.

Immediately after this performance there was a wonderful piano concert by a recognized piano artist. His music resounded throughout the auditorium. The audience was very responsive and gave him a round of applauds. He certainly made us aware of his artistic ability. He was a young Asian student.

I forgot to mention there was a very dignified Chinese professor who was the master of ceremony. He had a very warm personable and his presentation was easy to follow.

The Asian students performed a series of 3 numbers with wonderful acceptance even though all of this music was of Chinese origin. I must point out that one of the highlights of the day was the Tai Chi demonstrations by the John Lee Triple Balance group. I had been a Tai Chi adherent for 10 years but I was forced to give it up due to my age and body problems. However, the presentation brought it all back to me.

David Cohen did a martial arts demonstration that was outstanding. His companion student, a young black man, preformed beautifully in a similar type program.

The ladies in the group did a Tai Chi routine that showed off the precision that Tai Chi requires. John Lee and another lady did a solo routine which looked so easy but we knew how difficult it was. To complete the program the ladies did a double fan dance that made the audience stand up and cheer. John Lee Tai Chi group proved to be the stars of the show.

Along the side of the room Chinese young ladies were given demos and lessons in writing Chinese. They helped anyone who was interested in copying the Chinese writing on paper or on paper lanterns. You can't believe how difficult that is when you try to duplicate those so called straight lines. I tried on both the paper and the lantern but I won't give myself a medal for the copies.

I have to comment on the refinement and dignity of this young Chinese woman. They were always very helpful and encouraging. They wore their native clothes that made everything more realistic. They probably were students at the University. Following the Tai Chi demo there were two Japanese women demonstrating how to dress a Japanese Kimono. After the amount of time it took to put it on and the changing of color for each season we began to realize how important that costume is.

The Chinese professor then used a board with questions for the students who were studying Chinese. There were a series of 10 questions each one required a great deal of thought. This went off quite well showing the advancement of these students.

Along the other side of the wall the Japanese students were also dressed in native costume helping anyone who was interested in making artificial flowers. There were some beautiful small bouquets that we made and pasted out. The native flags and the Chinese balloons helped set the tone for this program.


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