Chinese Culture Days 2008

This past Sunday, Bob, Kate and I headed down to the Missouri Botanical Garden to check out Chinese Culture Days. I try to go each year so I can learn more about my culture through art, food, music, jewelry, etc. Well, Sunday turned out to be the perfect day. The sun was out, there was a light breeze and everything seemed shiny and new. We got to see the Niki exhibit in all its glory:

Quite a few of the sculptures were immense, like the skull above. They were whimsical and fun to see as you strolled through the garden. We took a spin around the Chinese garden where we tried some tea. There was supposed to be tea tasting all day but you couldn’t tell who was serving tea, not a very good set-up.

We then decided to take in a show that featured a lion dance:


(It tried to nom my head when it went by.)

There was also a display of Shaolin Kung-Fu and Drunken Kung-Fu (you totally know it from Tekken!), a straw hat dance (adorable music), stacking cups:

And finally, the crazy flexibility skills of the Shanghai acrobats:


(The Shanghai acrobats were really the reason why I wanted to go this year.)

The only complaint that I had was that the food that was served was regular, for the masses, not real Chinese food. Really? Chinese Culture Days and you come up with crab rangoon (NOT CHINESE AT ALL) and sweet and sour chicken! Seriously. Sorely disappointed.

Now, here, I’m going to be a bit loose in my take on #33 on the STL Project:

33. In the Missouri Botanical Garden, in the lantern-lit teahouse on an island in the Japanese garden. To reach the teahouse, you must obtain tickets to the tea ceremony that is conducted only during the Japanese Festival, which is held only once a year on Labor Day weekend. It’s worth it. (And don’t forget to feed the ravenous koi before you leave.)

Okay, we visited the Garden, it was not the Japanese Festival, but it was an Asian festival. And we did feed the koi (my favorite aspect of the Garden). I’m going to have this count toward the list but we are still going to try to go to the Japanese Festival and try to get into the teahouse (which, I hear, is uber-tough to get into). We are usually out of town over Labor Day weekend, though, so who knows.

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