By Emme Lee
My name is Emme Lee and I am the newly elected Co-Captain External of the REACH Dragon Boat Team.
On Saturday June 15th, REACH participated in the CAACF Duan Wu Festival at Lake Fairview Park.
The Duan Wu Festival, also known as the Dragon Boat Festival, is a Chinese traditional holiday held every year on May 5th. According to legend, the festival started when a beloved poet named Qu Yuan drowned himself in a river. The locals, who admired him very much, rushed out in boats to find his body. Unfortunately, he was never found. In despair, his admirers threw rice balls into the river, in hopes the fish would eat them instead of Qu Yuan’s body. Eating rice balls, also known as zong zi, is now a tradition enjoyed by many at the Duan Wu Festival.
At the festival, REACH members learned the basics of dragon boat paddling and had the wonderful chance to row in a race. I know I speak for all of the paddlers when I say we had an exciting time. I genuinely hope all REACH members can experience how invigorating a dragon boat race can be, especially with a team as amazing as REACH.
For this year’s Dragon Boat season, my aim is to introduce new REACH members to the sport and get them excited about it. I believe that the Dragon Boat Team is a crucial part of REACH because of the time we spend practicing and bonding with each other.
Written by Jerry He
As this was my first time attending the Duanwu Dragon Boat Festival, many of the things we did were new to me. With the help of my fellow REACH and friendly CHARGE members, I was able to learn the basics of rowing. During the races, there was a friendly, competitive atmosphere and that made the races extremely fun and exciting. Additionally, I was able to learn quite a bit about the traditions of the dragon boat festival through the many trivias and games we played. Throughout the event, I met a lot of new faces and connected with many different people. Overall, the Duanwu Dragon Boat Festival was an amazing experience and I look forward to attending it in the years to come.
Written by Tammy LeVan
The Duanwu festival was a interesting and cool experience. It was a great opportunity to learn about parts of Chinese culture like Dragon Boat. At the festival, I learned how to paddle and ended participating in a fun race. I also got to try some delicious sticky rice and play a rock-paper-scissor game with water. Overall, it was a fun experience that allowed me to try new things and meet new people. I would definitely go to this again!
Written by Rebekah Joe
Although I have volunteered at many REACH events over the past few years, I recently attended the Duanwu Festival for the first time. Through the festival, I paddled for the first time, ate zhongzi, played games, met new people, and got to hear about the history and story behind the festival. I enjoyed being able to finally paddle and race after watching REACH paddle numerous times. The festival was a great experience for me as a new paddler to not only see how Dragon boat works, but also to see how I needed to improve to join the REACH Dragonboat team. Overall, the Duanwu Festival was a great experience, and I look forward to attending more!