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The Winter Solstice, also known as dongzhi in Chinese, occurs when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. Traditionally, the Dongzhi Festival is also a time for family reunion. In northern China, people eat dumplings on that day.
On December 22, a brilliant dumpling culture festival kicked off in Shandong University to celebrate the day. More than 40 foreign students from ten countries participated in it.
The students started the activity with a quiz game to enliven the atmosphere. “What are the fillings of sanxian dumplings?” “Fragrant-flowered garlic, eggs and dried small shrimps!”
Students from Tanzania, Pakistan and Nepal introduced their country’s similar food.
Samosa, a kind of Tanzanian food, is very similar to dumplings but made of triangular wrappers. Gertrude, a Tanzanian girl, demonstrated how to made a Samosa with prepared fillings. “The first step is to cut off one corner of the rectangular wrapper and fold it into a shape of funnel. Fill it with the stuffings, and then wrap it into a triangle,” said Gertrude, “A Samosa is finished.”
The foreign and Chinese students were divided into several groups to take part in a dumpling-making competition. At the beginning, some foreign students were at a loss because they knew nothing about making dumplings. Chinese students took initiatives to teach them step by step.
After a period of learning, the foreign students made great progress in making dumplings. Some boys even created a new way of rolling the wrapper. They “pressed” the paste with knife and handed into a slice. Everyone there got their own ideas.
The activity provides an opportunity not only for foreign students to learn more about Chinese culture, but also for the communication and friendship between Chinese and foreign students.
The foreign students who participated in the activity said that they had eaten dumplings after coming to China and felt it’s very delicious. However, they had no chance to make dumplings, and it was a great honor to have the opportunity to learn it today.
At the end of the activity, the students boiled the dumplings. Although these dumplings looked different in shape, the students were obviously very satisfied with the fruits of their labor. As for the taste, foreign students said that these were the most delicious dumplings they had ever eaten in China.