Photo: Quinn Dombrowski

International Tea House: Eastern Asia

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By Brontë Campbell

Ryerson University held its monthly International Tea House event Tuesday Feb. 10, in POD60 Lounge, this time set around the countries of Eastern Asia.

“We encourage international students to mingle with other international students,” said Ricardo Ho, a fourth year Business Management student at Ryerson and host of the Eastern Asia Tea house.

The International Tea House events are put on monthly by Ryerson’s International Student Service (ISS) peer supporters to showcase the different cultures around the world, and connect Ryerson’s international student community.

Students like Anna Chung, a third year international economics and finance student, who uses ISS and the tea houses to make friends.

“I’m an international student, I came to Ryerson in my first year and was really lonely,” said Chung, who has now made a home at Ryerson.

“It’s a family right here,” said Chung.

The tea house featured East Asian countries such as Japan, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea and China. Presentations were held by different student associations on their relative countries, such as China, Vietnam and Singapore.

The tea house started with presentations about the different cultures, teaching the audience about a countries history, population, traditional food, holidays and religions.

Throughout the event the presentations would be broken up with trivia questions, where if answered correctly the winner would receive a water bottle.

There were five different stands at the tea house, one for the Ryerson Student Union (RSU), another with informative posters for all the Eastern Asia countries and the other three were interactive.

The food table featured prominent dishes, such as Chinese rice cakes and Vietnamese subs, a calligraphy table where students could get their name or a phrase inked in Chinese, and a Chinese New Year table complete with traditional desserts.

Ho’s favourite part is “the food,” despite the fact the, “portions are not big, but it’s enough to entice people to come,” he said.

However the tea houses do attract domestic students as well.

“My friend is an international student,” said Huishan Cao, a first year public health student, who decided to stop by and see what they were like and has since visited two.

“It’s (tea houses) very informative and they try to make it fun,” said Cao.

Though the tea houses are open to everyone, the main purpose is to connect the international students, help first years acclimatize to Canada and make friends.

“One of the reasons I’ve started loving my life here in Canada and at Ryerson, is because of the tea houses,” said Chung.

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