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Teaching the Japanese Tea Ceremony: Mine Somi Kubose

Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage. In China, in the eighth century, it entered the realm of poetry as one of the polite amusements. The fifteenth century saw Japan ennoble it into a religion of aestheticism—Teaism. Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts […]

‘Dear Mom and Dad:’ A Look Inside the Letter Collections of the Veterans History Project

The following is a guest post written by Owen Rogers, Liaison Specialist for the Veterans History Project (VHP). The summer between fourth and fifth grade saw my first few weeks away from family. As we prepared for my two weeks at summer camp, my mother and I roamed from one store aisle to another, picking […]

Chicago Ethnic Arts Project Goes Online

The following guest post by Ann Hoog is part of a series of blog posts about the 40th Anniversary Year of the American Folklife Center. Visit this link to see them all! The American Folklife Center is pleased to announce a new online presentation of the Chicago Ethnic Arts Project Collection.  The photos and audio […]

Dance!

Note: This is part of a series of blog posts about the 40th Anniversary Year of the American Folklife Center. Visit this link to see them all! April 29 is International Dance Day, established by the International Dance Council (CID) in 1982 to call attention to the importance of dance worldwide.  So get your dances […]

East Asian American Traditions

The earliest East Asian immigrants often had a difficult journey making their way to the United States. Many carried little with them but the cultural traditions they knew, such as language, stories, religious customs, foodways, music, song, and dance. Chinese Americans Chinese immigrants, mainly Cantonese speakers from Guangdong, were among the first Asians to come […]

What is it About May?

I confess. I always get a little giddy in May. Maybe it’s because the longer, warmer days of May mark the impending arrival of summer, my absolute favorite season. Yes, I am one of the rare lovers of brutally hot, humid DC summers. Or maybe May brings out the giddiness in me because I admire […]

Vasant Panchami: A Celebration of Learning

January 24, 2015 is the date for the Hindu festival Vasant Panchami or Saraswati Puja, celebrating both the coming of spring and the birthday of  Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, learning, crafts, and fine arts.  The date for the celebration of Vasant Panchami varies from year to year, as it is calculated by a lunar calendar. It falls on […]