Chinese students show off culture
By Natasha Christian
Dressed in fancy suits and traditional oriental clothing, Chinese students greeted American students in the Lord Conference center for China Night Oct. 7. With a full Asian cuisine and videos shown throughout the night, locals embraced a new culture.
The event corresponds with China National Day, an Oct. 1 holiday honoring the country. The international students picked a day close to the festivity so their fellow Crusaders could mark the occasion with them. This was the first time China Night was held at UMHB, and the Chinese students hope to make it a tradition.
Freshman business major Joy Zhang said, “We wanted to bring people together and celebrate this festival.”
The night began with a warm welcome and gratitude for those attending. The evening then led to a buffet of homemade Chinese dishes cooked by freshman biology major student Henry Zong. Candles lit the way to the array of food, including cookies with no flour and warm green tea waiting at the end.
There were more attendees than food, which is a good problem to have. A shocked Zong did not realize several students planned to attend China night.
He said, “I did not know so many people would come here.”
One of the entertaining challenges of the night was learning bits of Chinese.
The Asian students demonstrated how to say phrases like “hello” and “how are you?” However, when UMHB students tried to repeat the same words, it was clearly not the same.
Video clips following the lesson turned out to be the biggest hit of the night. One of them showed a man mysteriously switching masks at very fast speeds. The segment ended with a portion of a Beijing Opera sung by a fellow Chinese Cru member.
A melting pot began to occur as the Chinese students demonstrated a childhood game called Tiao Pi Jin.
It consisted of an elastic band wrapped around one leg of three players to form a triangle. Participants criss-crossed, jumped and twirled. The trick was not to touch the string. It looked easy but was not.
Three Chinese female students dressed in traditional costumes started a practice round and then asked for volunteers to join. With help from Easterners and encouragement from Westerners, participants got the technique down and then taught others. As a result, the activity was a great way for global interaction.
The pot continued stirring with show and tell. Chinese students displayed and explained East Asian artifacts. They included the bright floral decorative dresses called cheongsams and a comb made entirely out of an ox bone.
In addition, the hosts of the night taught participants to write Chinese. Using a paint brush and black ink on large paper, American students learned Chinese calligraphy.
Freshman communication major Wesley Ashton, roommate of Zong and freshman Wilks Jiang, is glad he attended China Night. He gained a better understanding of his friends by learning their traditions.
He said, “You’re getting to see what they do every day. The whole entire event was amazing.”
Sophomore nursing major Kim Jones enjoyed getting to learn more about the Chinese culture.
She said, “They should definitely have one next year.”