Dining in for a Change

The tempting smell of grease from the Kong is what usually drags in hordes of hungry undergraduates craving spring rolls. But last Friday, it was the Chinese Student Association’s Banquet 2009 that had undergrads scrambling to dig their chopsticks into some lo mein and get their hands on a dumpling or two.

For this festive affair, Leverett dining hall was transformed into a party scene packed with more than 350 guests, including students, tutors, and even professors. Dinner, consisting of a never-ending 14 courses, was catered by the Peach Farm restaurant in Chinatown. The restaurant’s strange name, according to co-president of CSA Daniel C. Suo ’09, can be attributed to a “bad translation.” But dinner was surprisingly tasty, with everything from pork and shrimp to incredible bubble tea, all of which caused attendees to declare the food superior to the Kong, despite eating it sober.

The rowdy crowd was entertained throughout the meal by the Breakers, a Harvard break dancing troupe, the Asian American Dance Troupe, the Din & Tonics, and the performance martial arts group Harvard Wushu Club, a crowd favorite. When asked why the performance martial arts act was so popular, Annie Ye ’11, a Wushu performer, replied, “We have weapons and shiny stuff. That always gets the crowd riled up.”

While some guests who didn’t speak Chinese might not have understood some of the jokes throughout the banquet, they nevertheless felt welcomed at the soiree. Monica S. Liu ’12, a CSA member, said that undergrads of all kinds are encouraged to join CSA and attend CSA events. “ Of course!” she said. “We love white people.”