Food draws in crowd for China night

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China night brought a variety of individuals to the Volstorff to experience the yearly celebration of Chinese culture.

The event took place April 12 at 6 p.m. Several speakers were at the event including the Chinese Student & Scholarship Association adviser, the CSSA president and the president of the Sioux Falls Chinese Association. The night also consisted of an authentic Chinese dinner and a variety of different performances.

One attendee of the event was Sarah Bohner, a junior early childhood education major, who came to experience a cultural event for a class.

“[China night] looked interesting because I heard it had cool performances and really good food,” Bohner said. She was interested in learning more about the food because it was different than food she was used to. She was most excited to try the Mu Shu pork and the coke wings.

Bohner said China Night and other cultural events can “broaden your horizons.”

Taylor Jensen, a senior agronomy major, read about China night from the posters around campus.

“The food’s always good; that’s a pretty classic,” Jensen said. “It’s just kind of interesting because it’s a lot different experience than I’m normally used to.

While some students may have come for classes or just for fun, Teresa Seefeldt, a faculty member in the College of Pharmacy, came to support students in her department.

“[China night is] a good opportunity to support our students outside of the classroom,” Seefeldt said. “We interact with them so much in the classroom and research lab but they do so many other things through student organizations like CSSA so it’s a good opportunity to come out and support them and you can always learn a little more about China and Chinese culture.”

Seefeldt has attended a variety of culture nights because of the students from different countries in the College of Pharmacy. She has attended India, Africa and China night.

The adviser of CSSA and faculty member in the department of modern languages, Yi Zhang, opened the event by welcoming the audience.

Zhang said this year’s China night was for learning about “China as you know, China as you might want to know.”

President Chicoine and Provost Nichols also made comments during the opening of China Night.

“I just want to say what a wonderful joy it is to have our Chinese faculty and students on this campus,” Nichols said. “You bring so much to us through your culture and through all you can help us understand about China.”

Yu Chen, the president of CSSA and a graduate student in the economics department said, “Today it will be a wonderful and special night for you because it is the only night we have the China night without the snow in Brookings.”

The programs that were on every table had a list of the performances and food items. Each performance and food was translated in Chinese and English. Some of the performances consisted of dance, traditional dress, poems, calligraphy and several others.

The menu was sweet and sour cabbage, fried vegetables and sweet corn, scrambled eggs with tomatoes, bean paste bun, mapo tofu, Mu Shu pork, barbecued ribs curried chicken, coke wings and potato and beef stew.

Another event attendee was a former president of CSSA, Zhoo Wang, a senior biology major.

Wang said his favorite part of the event is “for sure the food.”

As a former president of CSSA, he said there is a lot of planning and preparation for China night, including preparing the show, the food and finding sponsors.

In addition to attracting students and community members, the night attracted people from longer distances. Darla Estwick came from Watertown, S.D. especially for China night; she was invited by friends that go to school at SDSU.

“[My husband and I] came three years ago; we were here and we loved it. The dancing was just beautiful and the food was great so we decided to come back,” Estwick said. “I think what I like the most is the dancing; they have the women and children dance, I think that’s my favorite.”