Bringing the Eastern beauty to the West

After a slideshow played to introduce the country of China during the food serving time, two colorful lions came from each corner of the stage, dancing  to symbolize the wish of happiness, good health and fortune in the Chinese culture at the beginning of China Night 2016.

China Night 2016 was hosted by the Chinese Student and Scholar Association (CSSA)  Sunday Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. in the Volstorff Ballroom of South Dakota State University for faculty, students and community members to experience Chinese culture.

Yu Shen, a horticulture junior and CSSA president, said this year’s event was different from last year as they tried to incorporate more of the Chinese culture into the event. The students decorated the ballroom with red decorations and table cloths because the color stands for good fortune and joy in their culture. They had the slideshow in order to show more about their home country instead of leaving a blank stage.

This year CSSA brought more traditional Chinese musical instruments as well as special performances. One of them was the “Broadcast Gymnastics,” performed by Shen. The performance featured high school group physical education exercise. 

Xiaoyang Zhang, a senior scientist of the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence, came to SDSU three years ago and is serving as the adviser of CSSA said he enjoys his job with helping the students go shopping for groceries and preparing the event.

“Brookings is a small town, so the students need a kind of association to get it together and try some joyful activities,” Zhang said. “That’s why I feel this is a very good time.”

Zhang brought his Chinese “Spicy Barbecued Ribs with Potatoes” recipe to the event. His friends motivated him to share the recipe with the university, which he often makes for large gatherings. 

China Night 2016 also introduced the Chinese characters, which is a logogram that influences not only the Chinese language but other countries such as Vietnam and Japan. The audience practiced writing some simple Chinese characters.

There were also different performances such as a sword dance, poetry reading and piano music. 

Jacob Campbell, a computer science senior, said he enjoyed the night, especially the lion dance and the food.

Campbell went to China Night last year as well.

“It’s great to experience different cultures here,” Campbell said.“That’s something I think we’ve been lacking.”