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Experiencing Chinese Food Culture by Making and Eating Dumpling and Glutinous Rice Balls

Date: October, 13, 2012 00:00 Age: 5 yrs

In order to enrich the cultural awareness of the students, the Confucius Institute at the South Pacific organized a special activity with Chinese characteristics "Chinese Food Culture Experience" – making dumplings and rice balls on October 9 and 13, 2012 for USP staff students and social students. Director, Chinese Director and approximately 100 students participated in the activities. The atmosphere was warm, friendly and lively. Dumplings and rice balls are small, but they are a symbol of reunion, harvest and happiness, which reflect a harmony of Chinese diet and culture.

Dumplings and rice balls are very welcoming traditional food; they are also the indispensable food for New Year and some other festivals. They have been introduced to many other countries and loved by people throughout the world.

The highlight of the activities was when the students made dumplings under their teachers’ guidance and ate them, creating an authentic “dumpling banquet”. Teachers of the Confucius Institute took the lead in coming on stage to demonstrate how to knead and roll the dough and explained the origins of dumplings and rice balls while the students listened with great interest. Their skillful and quick motions caused some of the students to let out a sigh, observing how hard it would be to make dumplings. Several students wasted no energy and picked up rolling pins, and before long the others also joined the dumpling making team. Some kneaded the dough, some rolled it, and others folded the dumplings, experiencing the pleasure of making dumplings while engaging in an interactive exchange experience. Soon, the table was completely covered with dumplings and rice balls in different shapes. The newly-built deck of the Confucius Institute was filled with the cozy and joyful atmosphere.

Finally, the students sat together in a circle like a big family and tried their own hand-made dumplings and rice balls, experiencing the atmosphere of a Chinese “New Year’s dinner”. The students said that in the past they had only heard and saw pictures of the Chinese dumplings and rice balls, but this time they were able to finally experience the “flavor” the China’s Lunar New Year Festival by themselves.

It was really a memorable experience and it will be remembered and kept in their study life forever.

"Making dumplings together is such a great Chinese social activity" indeed!


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Confucius Institute
School of Language Arts and Media
Faculty of Arts and Law
The University of the South Pacific
Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji,
Tel: +679 323 2214
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