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The Trip to Chinatown

Ms. Kuo, Jospeh McNeely, and Melita Duo share their thoughts on all of the activities they experienced on the trip to the People’s Republic of China in Illinois and Chinatown.

On October 26, Chinese 3 and 4 took a field trip to the People’s Republic of China in Chicago, Illinois to see Chicago’s version of Chinatown. Everything from making mooncakes to Chinese Zodiac signs were explored on this day packed trip. The Chinese teacher, Heidi Kuo, shares her insight on the trip and the importance it holds. 

“The most important thing about this trip is to allow students to experience things that cannot be presented in the classroom, such as Chinese architecture, traditional music, martial arts, Chinese cuisine, etc,” Ms. Kuo shared. 

Students got to explore many different traditional Chinese activities at the People’s Republic of China in Chicago, including mask painting, making dumplings and snow-skin mooncakes, trying on traditional Chinese costumes, and getting to watch authentic Guzheng and martial arts performances.

Ms. Kuo shared, “I think the most important thing about Chinese classes is not only learning the language, but more importantly, understanding and experiencing the culture.” 

In 2010, Chicago expanded their Chinatown and created what is now called “New Chinatown”. It is more modern and gives more space to the growing Chinese population in Chicago.

“The addition of a new Chinatown makes the scope of Chicago’s Chinatown expanded and more interesting,” Ms. Kuo shared.

“Old Chinatown” was officially founded in 1912 but was built in the late 1800s. There are, what it seems like, endless shops and restaurants, each very similar but with its own unique style and design. According to Ms. Kuo, both Chinatowns are very accurate to China. 

“The history of Chicago’s Chinatown and its food, shops, etc. are completely accurate to China. However, China is very large and has many different states, so the small Chicago Chinatown cannot represent the complete China at all, but it presents classic Chinese architecture and culture, such as the dragon-carved arches and the Chinese zodiac. The food is also just the tip of the iceberg,” shared Ms. Kuo. 

Joseph McNeely, Junior, can agree with Ms. Kuo about the food as he had a very positive attitude about it. 

“My favorite part of the trip was definitely visiting the Chinese Consulate (People’s Republic of China in Chicago), because I got to try lots of delicious new foods,” he shares. 

The Chinese Consulate offered many food items students have not tried before, the main one being squid. Melita Duo, Junior, feels opposite of Joseph. 

“I tried lots of strange foods that I wasn’t a fan of, which would probably be my least favorite part of the trip,” shared Melita. 

This trip gives students that opportunity to explore Chinese outside of the classroom and fully engage themselves in the language. It left many students wanting to someday visit China, which encourages them in the classroom.

Both Joseph and Melita agree that they wish to go in future.

Melita shared, “The trip was very entertaining and educational and really opened my eyes to Chinese culture. The buildings were so beautiful and the shops were so cute that it made me want to visit China so I could get the full experience.”

Overall, the Chinatown trip is not only a great way to reward students for their hard work in class, but it also reminds them why they took the class in the first place.

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About the Contributor
Jaela Staker
Jaela Staker, Writer
Jaela Staker is a senior at MHS. She is the vice president of Key Club. This is her first year being involved in newspaper and writing for the Auroran Today. When she is not writing for the newspaper she enjoys watching movies, going to concerts, hanging out with her friends and family, and reading.
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