The TUSDM Dept of Public Health participated on National Nite Out on August 1st. They partnered with the Boston Chinatown community to promote oral health.
Anne Marie Vu (D19) reflects, “This volunteer event was a great way to delve into the Chinatown community. I learned how important knowing different languages is, as only one of our volunteers spoke Cantonese, and she was the most valuable member in terms of communicating with the older Chinese visitors at the events. It was humorous to speak of one of the older ladies at the event, though, as we somehow understood each other as she spoke to me in Chinese and I spoke to her in English. I’m pretty sure we did not catch a single word we were saying, but our body language and expressions were enough to bring out a few laughs. I also learned that elderly Chinese adults are very persistent in obtaining free toothbrushes and toothpaste–for next year, I would like to find a better way to give out the materials, because as much as we tried to pace ourselves, we ran out very quickly. My participation impacted me personally because I saw how vibrant the Chinatown community was and how much we have to offer them, yet how hard it is to connect with the language barrier. I hope we can have more events between our school and this population. Additionally, growing up as an American-Asian, I was reminded of my own family members when I interacted with the community members.”