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For the traditional Chinese moon festival, teacher Elsa Pan shows eighth grade students moon cakes like those families all across China eat for the annual autumn festival. Her South Washington County school is one of a growing number across Minnesota to offer Chinese classes. Don Davis/Minn. State Capitol Bureau

Interest in Chinese language grows

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WOODBURY, Minn. - Elsa Pan's middle school students were among relatively few Minnesotans to celebrate the Chinese moon festival, eating moon cakes and drinking green tea.


Eleven eighth-grade students in Pan's fourth-period Chinese class at Lake Middle School in Woodbury also watched videos about the autumn festival, picking out Chinese words such as numbers and "water."

The South Washington County School District students joined 1.3 billion Chinese in the annual event.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.