This was a banner year for Maryland Day! The glorious weather was ideal for the University’s annual open house. In spite of the fact that many of the 100,000 visitors to campus would have preferred to be outside, the East Asia & Gordon W. Prange Collections welcomed over 450 people to the 4th floor of McKeldin Library for East Asian crafts and a musical performance. Our principal activities — origami, calligraphy, and Chinese paper-cutting — have attracted numerous repeat visitors over the years, and this year was no exception. Demonstrations of children’s games from China, Korea, and Japan were an added feature. Several of the games originated in East Asia, such as ayatori (a string game similar to cat’s cradle) and jianzi (keeping a lightly weighted shuttlecock in the air using your feet and other parts of the body, except your hands — similar to hacky sack), but were very familiar to our visitors. A performance of Japanese music by a mother-son duo on piano and violin drew a substantial crowd.
We were fortunate to have staffing support from the University of Maryland Origami Club, John Montroll (origami master), and many members of the Eleanor Roosevelt High School National Honors Society.
We’re already preparing for next year!