| Assignment #5: Responding to Student Writing
Tutor assignment: Read the essay. Then, in 1-2 pages, describe how you might structure a session with this student, starting from the moment he sits down. First describe how you might establish trust with the student, then how you would set an agenda and prioritize issues to work on. Be as specific as possible.
(Hints: what would you say for your positive comment to begin the session? What are the 1-2 most important content/organization issues? What are the 1-2 most important sentence-level/grammar issues?)
Student Assignment: Ethnographic Essay
The purpose of this essay is to:
1. Observe or recall a particular ritual or ceremony that is praticed by the people
in your family or community.
2. Write about this ritual or ceremony from your own experience and determine for
yourself the purpose or importance of the ritual or ceremony.
3. Intergrate material from at least two print sources into your finished essay.
These may include books, magazines, newspapers, or academic journal articles.
4. Integrate at least one personal interview into the essay.
Be sure your essay
1. has a thesis and clearly defined purpose. It provides background on the ritual or ceremony.
2. have used at least two print sources and once interview to support the ideas. have quoted correctly and completely.
3. each paragraph has an effective topic sentence that makes a point about the topic and backs up the main ideas.
4. includes richly detailed examples that illustrate the point.(show, don't tell)
5. The essay includes some reflection on the experince of gathering the info.
6. a conclusion that reminds readers of the importantce of the main ideas and helps them understsand the importance of the point you are trying to make.
7. no/ or few grammar spelling errors
Dr. Marc Coronado
When visit Taipei, Taiwan in mid August, you will find many department stores, European style coffee shop, posh restaurants and the newest fashion stores on streets. But you will also smell the smoke and see fires on city streets, even in font the modern like high tech buildings. Those are not what you think, those are not trash fires. This is the time when Taiwanese burning ritual money to benefit household gods and spirits, for August is the month of the annual Ghost Festival. The Ghost Festival is the long term spirited traditions that passed from China so long ago, people believe this is the time when the hell gates open to free the hungry ghosts who then wander to seek food on Earth. Some even think that the ghosts would seek revenge on those who had wronged them in their lives. They offer many sacrificial and have different kind of ceremonies during the festival is a way to show the welcome of the household gods and the spirits at this time. The festival seemed religious and superstitious, but it is a representative of Taiwan’s culture and it’s a tradition that has been passing down since long ago.
The ghost festival is a passed down tradition, people do it every year, and they enjoy having the festival to welcome household gods and spirits. The festival falls on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, which also means the opening of the Gates of Hades is on Aug. 19 between 1:30~2:30 p.m. at Laotakung Temple in Keelung. This is also the birthday of Emperor Chinghus, the god of the underworld releases ghosts to receive sacrificial offerings from the living people and show his benevolent at this time.
Historically, families offer sacrifices of the newly harvested grain to departed ancestors on this day, which also coincides with the Buddhist Ullambana (Deliverance) Festival and the Taoist Ghost Festival. Since each of these traditions in some way honors the spirits of the departed, the seventh lunar month has come to be known as Ghost Month, celebrated as a time when the "Good Brethren" (ghosts from the underworld) come back to earth to feast on the victuals offered by the living. Over time the Ullambana Festival and Ghost Festival have melded together to become the present day Chung Yuan Putu or "Mid-origin Passage to Universal Salvation."
The Chinese believe that the dead become ghosts roaming between Heaven and earth. Spirits without descendants to care for them are prayed to during Ghost Festival so that they may also enjoy the warmth of life among the living. This custom, an extension of the traditional Chinese ethic of "universal love," has been woven together with the didactic legend "Moginlin Saving His Mother From Hades," giving Ghost Festival positive significance as a time for remembering the importance of filial piety. People now have taken releasing river light as an important activity at the time. It is said that the river light can conform and warm the homeless ghosts.
Although it seem like this is superstition: the time which the Gate of Hades is open? Household gods and spirits come out and eat? Yes, but this is not just superstition any more, almost all the people believe in this and this is also the tradition ritual since long ago from China. Just as the West has Halloween for ghosts, so also does Taiwan have a holiday to fete the departed spirits of the underworld: Ghost Festival, a popular occasion celebrated throughout China on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month.
The Chinese also do a lot of offerings to the deceased. These offerings are made by burning fake money notes, which are also known as ‘hell money’ and even paper television or radio sets. Some families also burn paper houses & cars to give to their dead relatives. The Chinese feel that these offerings reach the ghosts and help them live comfortably in their world.
The Chinese regard the 15th of the month as an important date to give a feast to the ghosts. On this date, the family will cook a lot of dishes and offer them to the deceased. This is done to please the ghosts and also to gain good luck for the family. 15 days after the feast, the festival will be over, as the Chinese believe that the ghosts return back to where they come from.
While my grandma is still in America for vocation, I asked the details about the Ghost Festival that held in mid-August before she’s going back Taiwan to prepare for the upcoming festival.
Seeing people are busy cooking and burning bamboo money on the street everyday was still in my memory.
“Why do we prepare food for them? I remember we always eat them after the ceremony every time.”
“Because the spirits from the hell do not eat for long time, preparing food it’s symbolizing the release of hungry ghosts, and showing warm welcome of the household gods. It’s like a time when they can relax.”
“So why do Chinese people still have this ghost festival every year?”
“It’s religious, but it’s also a culture, a tradition to the Chinese people. The Chinese believe that the dead become ghosts roaming between Heaven and earth. Spirits without descendants to care for them are prayed to during Ghost Festival so that they may also enjoy the warmth of life among the living. “
In the article “Gods and Ghosts” in the book Gods, Ghosts & Ancestors: Folk Religion In a Taiwanese’s Village. Mr. David K. Jordan, a member of the Department of Anthropology, University of San Diego says, “the pathetic and desperate “Goei” can be referred by a common euphemism “The Good Brethnen” known as the hungry ghosts. The Good Brethren are dangerous because they are desperate.” To avoid the hunting of Good Brethren, people usually prepare table of food offerings for those wandering ghosts at the gate of the house on the occasion of any important sacrifice to other super naturals. This is the belief that Taiwanese always have, I still believe in the “Good Brethren”, and its also a good tradition to keep that can represents Taiwanese’s culture.
What I always believe about ghost festival its that preparing the food, burning bamboo money, and having many ceremonies its hoping the spirits will be happy of the sacrificial offerings and will not bother people during their “free time”, and also hoping the household gods and ancestors will help me pass a safe and peaceful year.
The ghost festival continues for two weeks, the Gate of the Hade close on Aug. 30th, this is the time when all the spirits go back to where they belong. Throughout two weeks, not just preparing food and burn bamboo money to the spirits and household gods, but there are also many ceremonies that held mainly in Keelung, including Lighting of the lamps at Chuputan Temple, bucket lamp parade, launching of the water Lanterns, transfer of the hand censer…etc. From outsider’s point of view to see this ghost festival in Taiwan, it seems like it’s a religious ritual they do, but for the Taiwanese, this is not just a religious or superstition they believe in, its also become a tradition, a culture to them that they are willing to keep.