Beginnings: Childhood Memories from China to the Mall
For almost fifty years, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival has connected visitors with artists from around the world. Within each program, participants connect with other representatives from their country or state or occupation while sharing stories and space on the National Mall. And sometimes the Festival offers the opportunity for our own student interns to connect with their cultural heritage.
Shiyu Wang began interning at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage last summer. Originally from Yunnan Province, China, she moved to the United States to earn an MFA in film media from American University. She offered her video production and Chinese translation skills for documenting the 2014 Folklife Festival, particularly for the China: Tradition and the Art of Living program.
Between filming Kenyan musicians and Chinese puppeteers, Shiyu encountered the Dong performers—reminders of nearly forgotten childhood traditions, cultural identity, and her homeland eight thousand miles away.
Videography: Shiyu Wang, Albert Tong
Editing: Shiyu Wang