Last week, over 30 Johns Hopkins SAIS students from varying concentrations met on a cozy rooftop in Adams Morgan to celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival. The long tables were filled with contributed dishes, including some interesting attempts by the American students to recreate their favorite Chinese recipes.
Organized by the China Studies Club at SAIS, the potluck dinner is a newly founded tradition with the goal of connecting students who may have different concentrations from Energy, Resources and Energy to International Law, but also any SAIS student who shares a profound love of Chinese culture and moon cakes in particular.
Edward Logan, a second year MA student with a China Studies concentration, said he enjoyed the opportunity to meet different people with similar interests. He, like many of them, have extensive experience studying in and about China. In fact, the Chinese students in attendance were pleasantly surprised to converse with their American classmates in Chinese. Many were especially shocked to see that their American counterparts had gained not only Chinese language skills, but also a deep appreciation for the culture. In fact, many were surprised when Edward shared stories of celebrating Chinese New Year while living in Russia—a common occurrence.
Overall, Edward said he’s grateful to have shared not only a potluck dinner, but also stories and laughs with his classmates. If there’s one thing he hopes students take away from their dinner on the rooftop, he said, it should be that “it is possible for other people to appreciate the traditions and cultures of other countries as much as the locals do.” I must say, I have to agree—especially at SAIS.
Written by Clarise Brown, HNC Certificate/Johns Hopkins SAIS MA
Photo credit: Boyang Xue