Heloise Robertson

The table is neatly presented with small “红包” (hong bao), red packets filled with “旺旺” (wang wang), wang wang crackers at every table setting. Menus with detailed descriptions of the cultural significance of each dish sit in the middle of the table. Students enthusiastically offered to pick up food, clear up the table, and appointed themselves as the table head upon instruction.

Lunar New Year Community Dinner

This year, Webb has hosted three community dinners, and lucky for international students, a Lunar New Year celebration happened to be one of them. The dining hall staff fed students a comforting array of familiar dishes, as Webbies excitedly listened to Chinese music and fought over who would get the most dumplings.

Community dinner has always been held on Wednesday evenings, so it is significant that for Lunar New Year, the dinner was pushed up to Tuesday evening for a proper timely celebration.

There were five key dishes in the meal, with steamed rice and a delicious dipping sauce on the side. The five were “Japchae,” Korean stir-fried glass noodles, “三杯鸡” (san bei ji), three cup chicken, “饺子” (jiao zi), dumplings, Thai basil eggplant tofu, a vegetarian dish, and “汤圆” (tang yuan), glutinous rice flour balls with a sweet filling.

The dumplings and crackers were dishes courtesy of the International Student Liaison, who also hosted a short presentation where members explained why red and gold were important colors and gave students a platform to share little familial anecdotes.

A highlight dish was the “三杯鸡” (san bei ji), three cup chicken, as word spread quickly around the Centennial tents of the juicy, aromatic, and tasty chicken pieces. Students were in awe of how perfectly the savory chicken paired with the soft rice and devoured the meal happily, running for second servings only moments after the first plates were emptied.

Jay Akpengbe (‘22), a day student, attended the dinner on Tuesday night, excited to ring in the New Year with friends.

“I liked the three cup chicken because it was really well done and tasted good,” Jay said. “It was easy to cut and easy to eat. I’m really glad I was able to attend tonight.”

There was also appreciation for even the title of this special meal!

“I think that the Lunar New Year dinner was really awesome, not only because of the good food, but mainly because of the fact that they made it really inclusive,” Chris Chung (‘22) said. “Normally I understand that this is celebrated as a Chinese tradition but naming it the Lunar New Year dinner added this sense of community and allowed more people to relate.”

Comments (0)

All Webb Canyon Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *