Project Pengyou Kicks Off Independence Day Weekend

This post was co-authored by Pengyou interns Olivia Robertson and Hannah James



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Pengyous mingling in the courtyard

On Friday, July 3rd, we kicked off Independence Weekend in the Project Pengyou hutong courtyard in Beijing.

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American flag themed desserts

When the first few guests arrived at the 3rd annual July 4th BBQ, hamburgers and hotdogs were already on the grill and there were tables of classic American goodies lined up. There was potato salad, chips and guacamole, corn on the cob, as well as American flag themed desserts, all made by Team Pengyou in the hours before the event. One of our favorites was the apple and key lime pies baked fresh by our hutong neighbor, Rager Pie. Guests also enjoyed free flow wine, beer, and an array of other drinks at the event, which is becoming a yearly tradition at the courtyard.

The crowd included past Project Pengyou Leadership Fellows and chapter members (shoutout to TAMIU and UW-Madison Chapters!), students from various study abroad programs such as Harvard Beijing Academy, ACC and CIEE,  as well as other Pengyous new and old, both studying and working in Beijing. Phillip Merlo, a Leadership Fellow and founding member of the Project Pengyou Chapter at University of California, Berkeley, said that the event was a fantastic opportunity to meet other folks in Beijing, and see Project Pengyou headquarters for the first time.”

“I was ecstatic to have this opportunity to celebrate with Project Pengyou!”

Moreover, the event proved to be a good chance to introduce the American holiday to Chinese guests and for American guests in China to bond over shared traditions. Another attendee, a new Pengyou, Jeremy, a student at Beijing Union University celebrated July 4th for the first time. He said “it was my great honor to celebrate… Independence Day is a massive and significant festival to American people. I was ecstatic to have this opportunity to celebrate with Project Pengyou!”

We want to thank everyone who attended for making this event so special, and all of our old and new friends for helping cook, prepare food, and set up. We hope to see you next year!

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Team Pengyou grilling hamburgers and hotdogs

Check out the photo gallery here!