< Back to
< Back to all News
Large Turnouts at Chinese Cultural Events Suggest China is Trending Among Rose-Hulman Students
February 10, 2012
Chinese New Year's
Over 300 students turned out on Sunday to celebrate the Chinese
New Year, and help bring in the Year of the Dragon. The
efforts of three campus groups, the International Student
Association, the Chinese Culture Club and the Asian Society of
Engineers and Scientists, made sure the event was a successful
blend of cultural experiences and tasty food.
Huge Turnout for Chinese Seminar
The surprising turnout called for a quick room
to this lecture hall.
Wednesday morning, it was down to the wire the first day of
Rose-Hulman's free, weekly Informal Chinese Language Seminar
offered through winter quarter to anyone on campus. Monitoring the
sign-up lists, Luchen Li and JianJian Song learned attendance was
literally about to go through the roof. They had booked a small
classroom for about 10 attendees, and 40 had already signed up.
Last minute, they moved the event to the Myers 137 lecture
hall, and over 50 people attended, including 8 faculty/staff
|Dangtong "Bridget" Bai demonstrates
Chinese tea ceremony with traditional
tea ware sent from China.
Dr. Song was able to provide enough handouts for everyone,
supporting the language lesson with Chinese characters and pinyin
transcriptions, thanks to help from his student assistant, Erin
Campbell. Campbell's efforts were part of the push
that made the free seminar a reality.
"Freshman Erin Campbell and her friends were going to commute to
ISU campus to take Chinese language lessons in January," said
Luchen Li, whose Office of Global Programs also supported the
seminar. "But some of them do not even have vehicles."
The free Weekly Chinese Language Seminar was also made
possible by the contributions of instructor Qi Cui, who is
both a Chinese instructor and a Ph.D. candidate at ISU. At
professor Song's urging, Cui offered to volunteer his
time to accommodate the interest expressed by Rose-Hulman
students. According to Li, students have been approaching him and
other department heads requesting courses in Chinese language
|After the seminar, many students came up to try the
"Currently over 120,000 students from China are enrolled in
American universities and colleges," Said Li. "The U.S. government
plans to send about the same number of American students to China
in the next few years to study in a variety of disciplines.
Rose-Hulman students see great opportunities with many of the
companies they work for, or wish to work for, having operations in
The seminar's first 55-minute program was segmented into a
delightful mixture of cultural factoids, conversational practice,
and a tea ceremony demonstration by student volunteer Bridget
(Dangtong) Bai. Bai used her own tea ceremony box
with tea cups and teapot, which her mother had mailed from
China. After pouring tea, Bai explained that the process of
drinking ceremonial tea involves first smelling, then sampling,
then drinking, and finally leaving a small bit of liquid in the
cup. People will generally laugh at someone who drinks all the tea
in the cup, Bai explained -- "Only a horse or a pig drinks all
the tea," she said, laughing.
The seminar continues every Wednesday at 4:20 in Myers
137 throughout winter quarter.