Intern Adventures: Voyage to Vietnam at the Children’s Museum
A few weeks ago, two of our Silk Screen interns, Lillie Rana and Yahui Wen, visited the Children’s Museum in Pittsburgh’s North Side to check out the new exhibit on Vietnamese culture for the upcoming Tet Festival. Here is their story!
On the last Friday in October, we took a trip to the North Side to visit the Children’s Museum. The museum currently has an exhibit on traditional Vietnamese culture partially to coincide with the upcoming Tet Festival. The Tet Festival in one of the most important holidays celebrated in Vietnam and it takes place around the time of the Chinese New Year.
The exhibit helps give visitors an inside glimpse at everyday life in Vietnam. It includes a set up
of a kitchen, dining area, market, and family shrine. From the start, it’s clear to see just how different and beautiful the Vietnamese culture is to our own, and the Children’s Museum did an amazing job of capturing all of the tiniest details. Children are able to experience the different cooking and eating utensils, the unique foods and different cultural aspects. Each part of the exhibit has a small description in English, Spanish and Vietnamese to help everyone understand the traditions, values, and daily experiences of people living in Vietnam, and discover similarities and differences among the lives of children in the U.S. and in Vietnam.
The second part of the exhibit focuses on the Tet Festival itself. Visitors are invited to create their own fireworks display and learn what it feels like to be part of the traditional Lion Dance. The Lion Dance was adopted from Chinese culture but adapted with many characteristics special to Vietnam. The dance is meant to ward off evil spirits and is often accompanied by martial artists and acrobatics.
In addition to the Lion Dance, visitors can attempt a crossing of a traditional bamboo bridge, but warning!—it was difficult! You can shop at an outdoor market, watch a water puppet show to learn all about Vietnamese legends, play unique instruments like a moon flute or a zither and play a giant board game!
We had a wonderful time pretending for a few hours that we were kids and we actually learned quite a few things in the process. The exhibit is a truly unique and valuable experience and we encourage anyone with children to make a visit to the Children’s Musuem a priority this winter to experience this amazing exhibit. We also want to extend a special thanks to Zena Ruiz, the Program Manager at the Children’s Museum for her hospitality and an excellent tour!
-Lillie & Yahui
Go to pittsburghkids.org to read more about the exhibit and plan your visit!