Chinese language and culture students of all levels gathered on Dec. 6 for an end-of-semester dinner featuring traditional Chinese cuisine. The meal included hot pot, a traditional Chinese cuisine in which meat, dumplings, and vegetables are cooked in a simmering pot of stocks and broths. Students also collaborated with faculty to prepare jiaozi, or dumplings. Activities accompanied the dinner, including competitions testing chopstick skills and singing along to Chinese pop music.
The meal and the activities reflected a wide range of Chinese culture. Hot pot is a style of cooking traditional to the Sichuan and Chongqing provinces in central China, while different versions of jiaozi can be found all around China and other parts of eastern Asia. Much like these wide-ranging dishes, Hamilton’s numerous professors in the Chinese program hail from varying regions in China, giving students firsthand glimpses into the nuances of Chinese culture.
The Chinese program, a subset of Hamilton’s East Asian Languages and Literature department, places an emphasis on cultural understanding and language immersion both in and out of the classroom. Throughout the semester, “Chinese table” is held once a week, during which students strengthen their language skills over lunch conversations with peers and faculty. This week’s event took place in Christian Johnson Hall, the primary center for languages on campus.