Learning about the Chinesse Culture
|“Year of the dragon”
The “Mandarin House” is a restaurant where the energy is calm. The bright red& gold coloring of the curtains, the drapery and the indoor pond filled with fish felt like something more than just a restaurant near campus. Upon entering I was welcomed with a smile by the greeter “Are you part of the Fontbonne event?” she asked wondering where to sit me.
January 23, marked the start of the Chinese New Year. The Fontbonne community gathered to celebrate this event as a way of letting the Asian community know even though they are miles and miles away from home their culture is still worthy of celebrating. The Mandarin House is located at Page & highway 170 no more than 15 minutes away from campus.
To address any confusion over the Year of the Dragon each table had a Chinese zodiac. According the provided sheet the dragon is the mightiest of all the signs. The Dragon symbolizes dominance and ambition. People born under this sign prefer to live by their own rules and if left on their own, are usually successful. They’re driven, unafraid of challenges, and willing to take risks. Anyone born in the years1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012 are considered to have the personality of the dragon. The idea of the zodiac isn’t too different from the horoscope detail that one born in the United States may follow along with.
Ryan Saale Assistant Director International Affairs introduced the people that were responsible for putting the event together. Dr. Dennis Golden The president of the University welcomed everyone and connected to get the festivities started. Everyone was excited about experiencing the Asian culture. The look in their eyes as the wait staff started serving everyone one table at a time. Everyone in the dining hall was wearing a smile and held their chop sticks in their hands waiting to be served.
The servers brought out bowls of soup to get things going. Next to eat was cold cuts that consisted of chicken and beef. After the appetizers we were served Dumplings, then Mandarin beef, shrimp with walnuts & broccoli, fish, bean curd with mushrooms and bamboo shoots with mustard greens.
Throughout dinner Saale raffled off a few gifts, A pack of chop sticks, a beautifully crafted tea cup and last but not least Mahjong, a board game with similar rules as chess and dominoes, the last was a gift that will be kept in the Griffin’s nest for everyone to have the opportunity to learn a thing or two about the game. To top the night off a few of the students decided to share a song that showed how excited everyone was about the celebration. “Congratulations, Congratulations it’s the New Year.” Everyone at the table tried foods that they’d never eaten before and we all shared in the experience. The consensus at the table was to try everything because discovering that one particular food was better, it allows you to be taken out of your comfort zone. Overall it was a wonderful experience.