Mahjong, Mochi, Egg Tarts, and Panda Crackers

The sound of laughter and the clatter of mahjong tiles emanated from the Mather House Junior Common Room last night. A small gathering of students made the trek to Mather in order to take part in Mahjong Night, an annual event organized by the Harvard Hong Kong Society (HHKS) and the Harvard Taiwanese Cultural Society (TCS). While most attendees were members of the two groups, the event did draw in some non-members as well.

Mahjong Night wasn't just for mahjong experts. Every skill level was welcome, and experienced players were willing to teach beginners. Sweet treats such as mochi, egg tarts, and panda crackers graced the tables, and other traditional Chinese games, such as Big Two and Chinese chess, were also played.

Last night was more about the atmosphere than the games. Shelun Tsai '13 and Allen F. Shih '13, co-presidents of TCS, worked with Melody Wu '13 and Anissa Y. Mak '13, co-presidents of HHKS to put the event together. The co-presidents intended to use the event to cultivate a sense of community and encourage bonding.

"We wanted to foster interaction between Asian groups on campus," Wu said. "Mahjong is very important in Chinese culture."

"It's good to play a non-Western style board game," Shih said. "We like to focus on family-oriented events."

There will be plenty of other opportunities to join HHKS and TCS at future events, including a shaved ice study break.

Unfamiliar faces are particularly encouraged to join because both societies are hoping to start expanding and gain new members.

"We just know each other really well. We're like brothers and sisters," said Pin-Wen Wang '14, secretary of TCS. "It's just having that community. You don't even have to be Taiwanese to join."

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