China Night delivers unique taste of culture

On Saturday, Nov. 3, the Union Ballroom opened its doors to China Night. The event, hosted by the Geneseo Chinese Cultural Club, drew crowds in with the promise of entertainment and tasty Chinese food. Throughout the night, performers presented the audience with showcases of the music, drama, fashion and dance of Chinese culture.

Those at China Night enjoyed a reprieve from standard campus food for the evening. For a small price, attendees were served a wide variety of traditional Chinese fare, including General Tso's chicken, vegetable lo mein and hot and sour soup. Each table was well-stocked with fortune cookies for dessert.

GCCC members Derek Weng, a freshman, and Jessica Ee, a sophomore, emceed for the evening. Both Weng and Ee were lively hosts, continually encouraging participation and giving out raffle prizes from local businesses throughout the night. At one point, Ee invited the executive board of the Japanese Culture Club, one of the many cultural groups present to support China Night, onto the stage for a dance contest.

"China Night is a great way to have fun, promote Chinese culture on campus, and have everyone get to know us," said Ee. Although, Ee noted, "It takes so much work." GCCC members first booked the date for China Night last semester, and then began planning and searching for performers when they returned to Geneseo in the fall.

After dinner was served, GCCC members began the show, which centered around a skit based on the story of Mulan, the protagonist of a popular Disney movie and the famous Chinese woman who joined an all-male army to save her father's life. GCCC members acted out various scenes from Mulan's adventure in between different acts.

Among the most notable acts, performer Shu-Fang Yang presented a musical piece played by a guqin, an ancient Chinese instrument. This instrument, which originated 2,000 years ago, served as a contrast to more modern aspects of the show, including the fashion show and modern dances. Senior Tim Ellis added his own touch, displaying his skills with a diabolo, a variation of the Chinese yo-yo.

From ancient customs to contemporary interests, the large variety of acts gave audience members a glimpse of Chinese traditions and culture. President and junior Joanne Yen, who played Mulan in the performance, said that, "tonight was a way to let people know about Chinese culture, and it was a great chance for club members to bond."