Shangover delivers night of culture, cuisine

The Geneseo Chinese Culture Club's 15th annual China Night, also known as The Shang-over, allowed Geneseo students and faculty to experience the unique culture, tradition and cuisine of China.

Upon entering the Union Ballroom, guests were greeted with an elegantly decorated dining room. Red streamers were hung across the walls and beautifully drawn banners of a dragon and a bird framed the stage. At each table there was a Chinese zodiac placemat along with fried noodles, duck sauce and a candle that glowed enchantingly when the lights were dimmed. A skit introduced the theme of the night: a tourist's experiences in Shanghai.

The night started off with a wonderful dinner of Chinese cuisine, courtesy of math professor Chi-Ming Tang. The dinner included many different types of rice dishes as well as both vegetarian and meat options. "The spare rib with plum sauce is delectable," said junior Thomas Zombek.

Zombek also said he admired the beautiful decorations that adorned the ballroom. "This all looks really well put together and they obviously put a lot of hard work into it," he said.

Senior Jessica Ee, president of the Geneseo Chinese Culture Club, explained that China Night "present[s] a mix of modern and traditional Chinese culture through instruments, clothing, dancing and music." Ee added, "The goal of China Night is to bring China to Geneseo for one night a year."

The performance segment of China Night featured many different types of dances, musical performances and even a fashion show. Sophomore Daniel Nan, vice president of the Geneseo Chinese Culture Club, was the emcee for the fashion show. "It [has] traditional costumes that you would have seen during different Chinese dynasties" as well as a segment where more "modern fashions" were worn, Nan explained.

A portion of the show was dedicated to explaining the Chinese top, a traditional toy. There was also a performance featuring a Chinese string instrument called a Guqin, as well as the showcase of a traditional Chinese song, entitled "The Butterfly Lovers." Ee explained that "a lot of Chinese songs tell stories and 'The Butterfly Lovers' is known as the Chinese version of 'Romeo and Juliet.'"

China Night drew a large audience, including President Christopher Dahl. With almost every seat filled, China Night successfully introduced many to the Chinese culture and celebrated the diverse and captivating customs that represent China.