For many years, I have attended the Chinese Festival presented every June by the Chinese American Cultural Center in Hockessin, Delaware. I remember many years ago when the converted old North Star School which now houses the center did not have air conditioning and we sweltered in the late June heat.
And then, if my memory serves me correctly, the program in the auditorium began with an introduction to representatives from the Taiwanese embassy in Washington. The Center's dance students presented dances from indegenous Taiwanese tribes, as well as from various areas of Mainland China. Fashion shows featured costumes from these far-flung areas as well.
I could not help but notice that this year's program started with, for the first time, representatives from the embassy of the People's Republic of China. Dancing tots and older girls wore beautiful costumes but not necessarily from Taiwan or China. The smallest girls actually were dressed as Egyptian belly dancers. Didn't see the connection, but they were cute. The Phillipino community also sent older teens doing hopping steps up and down off little platforms.
The mothers and grandmothers presented a parade called a fashion show all dressed in identical cheongsam dresses with intricate floral embroidery and carrying beautiful pink parasols.
The program began with the traditional dancing dragon, who repeats his yearly ritual of prancing around until offered a bunch of greens on a string, which he bites off but eventually spits out into the audience. But the biggest dragon dance was done outside in the parking lot alongside a tent offering all kinds of Chinese foodstuffs. This many-footed dragon chases a colorful pearl (held on the end of a stick by the "pearl lady."
Reporting on the political changes and cultural events in Hockessin, Delaware, this is Carolyn Roland, Your Older and Historic Homes Resource in Delaware and Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania.