Celebrating Sino-American relations: Helen Foster Snow Cultural Center hosts Chinese Moon Festival

The Southern Utah University Helen Foster Snow Cultural Center commemorated the one-year anniversary of its opening on Wednesday, Oct. 18. To celebrate, the center hosted an event in the R. Haze Hunter Alumni Center’s Great Hall that explored aspects of Chinese culture, such as the Chinese Moon Festival.

The event included musical performances from students and faculty, a video from Lt. Gov.  Deidre Henderson explaining Helen Foster Snow’s contributions to United States foreign relations, and remarks from SUU Associate Vice President Stephen Allen. A video presentation demonstrated the outreach and education work that the Helen Foster Snow Cultural Center does at local high schools, including cultural celebrations and Chinese classes.

Because of Snow’s history of Chinese-American diplomacy, the Moon Festival and the anniversary of the Center were celebrated together. 

“In China, the Moon Festival basically celebrates the shiniest, brightest and biggest moon of the year,” explained Alonso Rivera, a student from Peru and an International Student Ambassador. “And, because Helen Foster had a really great connection with the Chinese, there was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the Moon Festival simultaneously.”

Snow was a Cedar City-born journalist who is internationally revered for bolstering relationships between China and the international community during the early-mid 20th century. Her efforts contributed to the success of the fledgling Chinese Communist party as well as the education of the American public’s understanding of the tumultuous Chinese political climate.

Last year, the Office of International Affairs established the Helen Foster Snow Cultural Center to commemorate Snow, her southern Utah origins and her legacy abroad. Per an SUU press release, the center “[creates] a valuable platform for sharing Chinese language and culture.”

Author: Jacob Horne
Photographer: Jacob Horne
Editor: Nick Stein