Cornellians lined up in Duffield Hall on Friday night to celebrate Asian culture and enjoy traditional food at the Chinese Students Association’s annual midnight dim sum event.
The night marked the start of a school-year filled with cultural gatherings for the organization, which began planning for the event following the release of funding from CUTonight Commission in April.
“For events that are in the very beginning of the year, we need to do the funding application in the spring,” said Michelle Zhao ’19, president of the Chinese Students Association. “So we budgeted and we made our food orders way back at the end of the last semester.”
Starting at 9 p.m., crowds of students and faculty were eagerly waiting to try the assortment of dim sum food items, including dumplings, egg and spring rolls and other food catered from local restaurants Apollo and Hai Hong.
“We like to give free food out to the Cornell community, and dim sum is one of those pastimes that we Chinese-American kids really love,” Zhao said. “It’s when our families come together on Sundays after a long week of school or work, and you just relax and have dim sum.”
With food and music, CSA tried to target students of all cultures at Cornell, as well as the general public.
“A lot of us can’t convene during the day, so we decided to make it midnight dim sum, but normally it’s eaten at noon,” Zhao said.
Student dance groups like Shimtah, Cornell Lion Dance, Amber Dance Troupe and E-Motion also performed at the meal. Throughout the night, attendees could settle down in a performance area and enjoy their food while observing the various shows.
“We’re always very excited to get ourselves more well-known with the Cornell community outside of K-Pop lovers,” said Tiffany Chan ’19, a member of the E-Motion K-Pop dance group. “We’re really proud of what we do.”
When asked what her favorite part of the event was, Joyee Mok ’20 said, “It has to be all the new friends I made. I think CSA is going to have a very loyal member.”
Because the event was open to everyone, many individuals who are not CSA members were also able to enjoy the food and atmosphere.
Victor Zhang, a student from Australia at Cornell for the fall semester, said he is considering spending a semester in China and enjoyed the event.
“I’m thinking about maybe working in China in the future,” he said. “I love Chinese culture, and the food especially.”
The CSA will continue to host events that aim to unite the student body through culture throughout the year, its members said.
“Our mid-autumn festival is going to be soon,” Sharon Wu ’20, transfer liaison for the organization, said. “It’s going to be one of the biggest cultural events on campus, and it’s definitely a great way for students to meet so we’ll definitely be doing things like this more in the future.”
“I think it’s really just a way to bring people together and teach about culture, and it’s a really interactive way to do so with all the performances and food as well,” Wu said, “and we really just try to make it a good learning experience without it being a classroom.”
Correction: A previous version of this story, including a quote graphic, incorrectly identified reported student’s last name. The student’s name is Michelle Zhao.