Anyone who passed by Marletto’s on a recent Friday morning would have immediately noticed the sounds of children’s conversations and laughter wafting through the cafeteria doors.
That’s because a group of kids were having fun making Chinese dumplings, an activity that was part of a week-long summer camp sponsored by the Confucius Institute.
The K-6 participants, most of whom were from the Families with Children from China organization, spent their week learning about Chinese culture and the Chinese language. This year’s camp was titled “Celebrate Chinese Festivals with Us.”
Li Fang, Confucius Institute program director and an adjunct professor of Chinese, helped organize the camp. She said the camp was divided into three sections: culture, language, and arts and crafts. The culture section introduced children to five major Chinese festivals: the Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival, the Qingming Festival, the Duanwu Festival, and the Moon Festival; the language section taught them elementary Chinese words and phrases; and the arts and crafts section allowed them to try their luck at learning various Chinese skills. Among these were paper cutting, calligraphy, lantern making, Chinese Kong Fu, and the art of Chinese dumplings.
Dumpling making included rolling out dough, adding filling, and sealing the dough for steaming. The lesson concluded with an enthusiastic sampling of the steamed dumplings.