Club Brings Chinese Culture to NDA Community


Hailey Swonger, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Every year, the Chinese Club hosts the Chinese New Year’s party, bringing authentic Chinese culture to the Notre Dame community. They brought lots of food and different activities to the party, including Mrs. Qiuhong Zhang’s famous meat pies.

The club was started five years ago by Jane Hall and Qiuhong Zhang with the hope of celebrating Chinese culture as a complement to Mandarin classes taught at the school.

“There are a lot of students who don’t take Chinese but are interested in the Chinese culture so this is a good way to learn and experience the culture,” said Zhang, who teaches the Mandarin classes.

According to Ava Griffitt, the club president, many of the club’s 113 members join because their friends are in it. She also said, “It lets people in Green Bay, in the middle of America, learn about new cultures.”

After her first year in the club, Griffitt had already decided that it was something she wanted to invest in.

“Mrs. Zhang had been so supportive and amazing, so I wanted to support her in the club, and then after my freshman year, I decided I really loved it, and I wanted to be involved in the planning.”

The Chinese Club does much more than the New Year’s party, though.  In fact, they do one event per month, ranging from Chinese tea time to Chinese cooking. These events are planned by the club leaders. That not only includes Hall and Zhang but Griffitt and freshman Alan Schneider.

By taking Chinese at NDA while he was in 8th grade, Schneider found something he was interested in. Now, he’s the activity director and loves that responsibility.

He described his favorite memory of the club so far:  “At the last event we did some dancing which was fun because people were just joking around and having fun with their friends.”

The New Year’s party doesn’t just involve the members. Zhang teaches the culture in her classes too, and her students were responsible for making fresh spring rolls for the celebration.