Feature: San Francisco Chinese community celebrates Mid-Autumn Festival with hope for better livelihoods

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-15 07:06:17|Editor: xuxin
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SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Residents in a Chinese community in San Francisco on Saturday unfolded their celebrations of Mid-Autumn Festival amid a mixed mood of worries and wishes for a better life in the future.

The celebrations held along the Clement Street in the Richmond neighborhood in the northern part of San Francisco, which were in the third year, drew thousands of people onto the street, watching and shopping at vendors' booths along the two sides of the street.

The event was launched by California Assemblymember Phil Ting and San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, together with other representatives from local organizations, as community leaders were trying to create a joyful and festival atmosphere for local residents and tourists.

"I am seeing many more people here very early on even before the event was officially opened," Fewer told Xinhua when asked about the turnout of expected festival goers.

The celebrations featured traditional lion dances, singing and dancing, a show of Shaolin Kung Fu and Chinese calligraphy, a mini fashion show, delicious food and games, as well as other free services including traditional Chinese medical therapy.

Ting said the event was done to bring as many joys as possible to the Richmond community, which has more than 40 percent of Asian population.

"The Mid-Autumn Festival is a very special time of year for us in the Chinese community," he said. "We're trying to do something that is family friendly and that everybody can enjoy."

"The most important thing is for people to be out in the neighborhood and just enjoy the neighborhood," he added.

However, the wonderful festival atmosphere can hardly cover the worries that some local people have about their life.

Terek Tam's family set up a booth at the festival selling unique and traditional hand-made Dragon Beard Candy to partygoers.

"Mid-Autumn Festival is a moment of happy time, but I do have some worries about my business," he told Xinhua.

Tam complained that his business has fallen by 10 percent to 20 percent for this summer season compared with last year.

"Most of our raw materials needed for making the Dragon Beard Candy, such as peanuts and maltose, were imported from China, but their selling prices have gone up from 30 U.S. dollars per barrel to about 50 dollars since late last year," he said.

The current trade tensions between China and the United States surely had some impact on the business, he said, who is the fifth generation of his family skilled in hand-making Dragon Beard Candy, the only hand-craftsmanship ever seen in the Bay Area.

"What's worse is consumers' confidence on spending," Tam said. "Nowadays, many customers became less willing to buy things at my store in Chinatown."

"We are here trying to present the unique Chinese food product to our neighbors in the Richmond community and visitors," Tam noted.

Emily Cheung, who was selling souvenirs and other small items at the market fair, echoed Tam's views about product costs.

"I imported the commodities from China and wanted to make a living here out of the Chinese specialties, but life becomes harder," she said. "The costs are rising fast in the past months."

"I hope China and the U.S. would end their trade disputes soon so that we can have a better outlook for my business," she said.