This blog post was written by Project Pengyou 2016 Summer intern, So-Hyeong Lee.
Red, blue, and white fairy lights brightened our courtyard on Monday, July 4th, as our friends gathered for the 2016 Independence Day celebration. As is tradition, we invited local Pengyous to come enjoy food, drinks, and a welcoming community in Beijing to celebrate America’s birth.
Over 100 students, alumni and young professionals in Beijing came out to join the party. The courtyard buzzed with friendly hugs and greetings as our new and old friends gathered together in the cozy space. We were delighted to see many of our Leadership Fellows as well as students and young professionals in Beijing.
Although 4th of July is traditionally an American holiday, hot dogs and BBQ are something everyone can get excited about. In typical Beijing fashion, there were many old and new friends mingling together for pleasant conversations and a good time. It was also a special treat to have Jing Sing A Capella cap the night off with a beautiful performance of the Star-Spangled Banner.
Colorful arrays of homemade Independence-Day-favorites of hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, corn-on-the-cob and even American flag-themed cupcakes were a taste of home in China. Because ice is scarce in Beijing, we especially enjoyed the cold beverages on a hot summer evening.
“It was a great opportunity to experience my first 4th of July celebration at Project Pengyou!”
For many pengyous, the event was their first-ever celebration of America’s birth. Yixuan Lim, Project Pengyou summer intern from Yale-NUS College in Singapore, commented “it was a great opportunity to experience my first 4th of July celebration at Project Pengyou! The atmosphere was great and the Jing Sing A Capella rendition of The Star Spangled Banner was an especially powerful moment!”
As a South Korean, I also had a chance to experience my first American Independence Day with friends and fellow interns. The air of excitement and meaningful bonds I made will last long after my time in China is done.
Here’s a few favorite moments from the party!
We are very thankful for our volunteers who helped us grill BBQ, serve the drinks and keep the space clean. I also want to thank my fellow interns and Team Pengyou, who helped make the preparations a fun experience. Lastly, we thank our guests for making the party so special!
For photos of this event, click here.