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Dragon Boats are Coming!

    


Four New Dragon Boats are on the way to Kansas City in first part of May.

Our International Dragon Boat festival Partner, China Great Wall Society, is sending 21 members join our festival with race team and painting demonstration and exhibit.
About Dragon Boat Festival


Kansas City International Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat Festival memorializes the Chinese patriotic poet Qu Yuan.

Qu Yuan - A Patriotic Poet of Warring States Period

Living in the latter part of the Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC), Qu Yuan was the earliest great patriotic poet as well as a great statesman, ideologist, diplomat and reformer in ancient China. He has the reputation of being one of the world four great cultural celebrities. The traditional Chinese Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated to commemorate him. His patriotic influence has left its mark on many subsequent generations in China and beyond.

Dragon Boat Festival and Qu Yuan

Qu Yuan was a minister to the Zhou emperor during the Warring States Period (475 - 221 BC). He was a wise man who was strongly opposed to the corruption of the imperial court.

Because of Qu Yuan’s success, he aroused jealousy in his fellow ministers. They plotted against him and convinced the emperor that Qu Yuan was a traitor. Qu Yuan was banished, and returned to his home town.

During his years of banishment, Qu Yuan collected legends and folk tales, and wrote poetry. He never lost his patriotic love for his emperor, and was greatly concerned about the future of the Zhou dynasty.

The Death of Qu Yuan

Eventually the Qin warriors overthrew the Zhou rulers and proceeded to plunder the country. On the 5th day of May, 278 BC, Qu Yuan learned about the fall of his capital city, and in a fit of despair, committed suicide by throwing himself into the Miluo River. The townspeople, hearing of Qu Yuan’s fate, rushed to their boats to try to save him. Since he was much loved, they tried to prevent the fish from eating his body by throwing rice dumplings into the water. They beat drums to keep evil spirits away.

To this day, the 5th day of the 5th lunar month is celebrated by eating rice dumplings (zong zi) and racing dragon boats. It is also a day for wearing talismans to keep away evil spirits. Adults drink Xiong Huang wine, and children wear fragrant silk pouches to guard against evil.

Modern Dragon Boat Racing

In Chinese culture, Dragon boat festival has been an important holiday for centuries, but in recent years dragon boat racing has become an international sport.

Qu Yuan’s 71st Descendant coming to Kansas City

Qu Wanshen is the 71st descendants of Qu Yuan is come to Kansas City June 14, 2014 as a Kansas City International Dragon Boat Festival observer, it’s a Honor for Kansas City and our Dragon Boat Festival.

KC World Citizen of the Year Award: Bob Chien
        
Photography by Dan Gilbert    Click to see larger photo

Kansas City Mayor Sylvester James Jr. presented the 2013 Kansas City World Citizen of the Year Award to Robert (Bob) Chien, long-time advocate of closer China-U.S. relations, chairman of the Kansas City-Xi’an Sister City Committee and President of the Society for Friendship with China. This is also a nice birthday present - the award is presented at the banquet on October 23, 2013 - Bob's 83rd birthday! Mr. Weiping Zhao, the Counsel General of Chinese Consulate in Chicago, also sent birthday card to congratulate Bob.

  
A heart warming story --- Wang Lihong
Part II

click here for part I
The Scholarship is $500=3100 Yuan. Let me tell you some details about the necessary expenses at college .You may know how much the $500 helps. The tuition in ShiDa is 3850 Yuan (the cheapest), and the accommodation is about 1200 Yuan per yea. A student may spend at least 600 Yuan per month for living. So the total expense for a student in college maybe 12000 Yuan per year. The $500 scholarship may be one fourth of the one year expense. The students in bad conditions can receive the grant from the government, 1000yuan to 3000 Yuan per year. We can also apply for loans to the bank with low rate. About 6 students in my class applied for it, including me. I applied for a total number of 20000 Yuan loan form the bank at my college. We must payback the loans within 6 years after living school. I also did some part-time job, making some money, which happened to many students in ShiDa.

In my opinion, I prefer to increase the number of scholarship to more students. If I have the power or right to give, I will give two students to share, not one student. I don’t think $500 is a small amount of money. It is almost one fourth expense to a student for one year. As I know, it is a medium scholarship in similar scholarships in ShiDa. Students may find other ways to get money, such as applying for loans, part-time jobs. In addition, there are a lot of poor students in ShiDa. They may come from the villages, and even mountain villages. Their parents don’t earn much, so they are in need of money. Let the sunlight shine more students that is my wish.

With the above information Society will maintain our Five annual scholarships, but we add two more scholarships this year in honor Lihong and KC marathon team, lets call “Half Marathon/Scholarship” Lihong can make the decision as two scholarships or become four Half Marathon/Scholarship.

Kansas City councilman Scott Wagner and Half marathon runner will make the scholarship Presentation.

With Bob Chien’s suggestion, Shaanxi Normal University accept Wang LiHong as a member of Scholarship selection Committee member.

LiHong, Congratulation and keep dream and have faith in yourself.
     
Puppeteer Show
The puppeteers from City of Xi An, Jun Liang, Yunru Liang, Yi Yan, Xiaoyu Dou gave their best performance on the stage. Their shows include the Princess of Iron Fan, the Concubine of Tang Dynasty, the Dream of Red Chamber, and Zhong Kui. The audience loved the performance and was eager to take photos with the puppets and the puppeteers.

After the Dragon boat races, a thank-you dinner was provided for the guests from Xi An, the officials from Chinese Consulate and Kansas City, and more importantly, the volunteers who worked very hard for the Festival. The dinner banquet climaxed and ended with Chinese puppet shows. What a great event for Kansas City!


Photo by Dan Gilbert



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