A feast for the eyes, as well as the stomach, is in store for all who eagerly await the annual Chinese New Year Celebration put on by students in the Hardin-Simmons University International Student Fellowship.
Hardin-Simmons University is the home away from home to more than 40 students who represent nearly every continent on Earth. ISF students never fail to surprise diners with a plethora of dishes of international proportions.
Shawn Chin, a senior speech communication major from Malaysia and president of the student organization, says, “We want to continue to bring diversity to the university. Our goal is to celebrate Chinese New Year and have people experience a joyous festival with us.
“We enjoy the Chinese New Year dinner because it brings in the biggest amount of students in a single event, and hopefully we can share a part of Chinese culture with them. Everybody loves Chinese food!”
Vice president of the organization, Ethan Tan, a senior political science major from Malaysia, adds, “It’s a chance to feel at home, even if we are away from home, if only for a while.”
Tan says the annual dinner is open to the community and all students from all of Abilene’s universities and schools. In years past, the dinner has drawn as many as 130 students, faculty, family, and friends.
HSU’s international student population has never failed to prepare a potpourri of dishes both familiar and surprising during the annual celebration. This year, the menu has been crafted in the spirit of an authentic seven-course Chinese dinner. Instead of the usual buffet line, diners will be seated and served.
Chin says, “We decided to do a sit-down to best show what a Chinese New Year dinner is really like. People don't need to travel all the way across the world to have all these experiences when we’re right here on campus!”
Ethan adds that formal Chinese dinners are usually sit-down, multiple-course affairs. “We wanted to be a little more authentic this year.”
“The dinner will include a very popular dish called The Four Seasons,” says Chin. “This is a traditional dish that combines four appetizers to become one splendid dish. Also another highlight will be the beef noodles. We are getting Chef Deo to cook this delicate soup dish.
“As usual, the room will be filled with Chinese New Year decorations, representing a part of our culture, says Chin. “This is the year of the snake and Terry Minami has offered to fold some origami snakes as center pieces for the tables.” Minami, assistant to the dean of university libraries, has long overseen the international students at HSU and often donates her origami for decorations.
Entertainment for the dinner will be HSU students. Chin says, “The highlight of the night will be Wenhui Dou, or "Sherry" as she is called, a pianist from China, who has a wonderful story to tell.”
The event will be held in HSU’s Johnson Building Multipurpose Room, 6:00 p.m., February 23, 2013.
Dinner is $10 per person and space is somewhat limited. Tickets will be sold through February 22 in the lobby of HSU’s Moody Center. For reservations or more information, call Shawn Chin at 325-232-9956.