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“Wrapped up the Zongzi and Held Dragon Boat Race” ---- Foreign Patients Fell in Love with Chinese Culture

They were wrapping up zongzi.

Eating Zongzi in Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional custom in China. In order to carry forward culture of Dragon Boat Festival, on June 13th 2015, “Taste Zongzi and Learn Chinese Culture” was held in Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou. Patients and their families not only ate zongzi, participated in dragon boat race on dry land and drew colorful eggs but also prayed for health under the wish tree. About 60 south-east Asia cancer patients from Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippine, Bengal, Thailand, etc. and nearby community residents joined this activity and experienced the cultural charm of Chinese traditional festivals.

Zongzi Race Helped Forget Troubles

At 10am, patients and their families gathered at the spot. The skillful master taught them how to wrap up zongzi. With the aid of interpreters, foreign “students” imitated their “teachers”. When the host said, “The game begins.”, the competitors soon began to folder the leaves, wrapped up the rice, put candied date and red bean paste. Some competitors were skillful and they put the material in fast speed. Others tried their best to learn. It seemed that the procedures were simple but it was hard to practice. According to the numbers, speed, quality and appearances, the judge chose the prize-winners of the first place, the second place, the third place and excellence awards. One of the awarded patients said,” This activity brings me a lot of fun and helps me forget that I am in the middle of cancer treatment. I am happy today.”

They enjoyed wrapping up zongzi.

Colorful Activities Helped Forget Loneliness

Later the dragon boat festival on dry land was held. This game needed four teammates to cooperate and their goal was to reach the terminal in the fastest speed. “Hurry up! Hurry up!” All the audiences shouted and the leading teammate shouted the slogan to lead other teammates and adjust the paces. The dragon boats chased each others and it was exciting. A patient said, “The dragon boat race on dry land was creative. I fell great that people make concerted effect to go forward.” Another foreign patient said, “This activity makes me feel that this hospital is thoughtful and we don’t feel lonely any more.”

After mental and physical race, volunteers drew some colorful eggs and put them into the sachet and gave patients as gifts. At last, patients and their families prayed under the wish tree. They hoped their families and they themselves were safe and happy.

When the activities finished, the staffs cooked the zongzi and shared them to other patients, who can not enjoy the activity, so that they also can taste the zongzi.

It was dragon boat racing on dry land.

Promote Communication and Relieve Stress

The president of Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou, Wang Huaizhong, said, “The zongzi race does not compete with their skills but it tests their tacit cooperation. People gather together and experience the cultural atmosphere and cultural charm. Cancer patients usually are permissive, scared and nervous under tremendous pressure which may take bad effect on cancer treatment. When cancer patients participate in social activities, they will feel more confident and energetic and they will transfer their attention, which is beneficial to their treatment.” Some cultural activities can enrich patient’s lives, relief their stress, promote communication between medical practitioners and patients and understand the cultures. Cultural communicative activities promote the friendship between China and other countries.

They were happy!

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