Student Quote

Dumpling & Sushi Making for Chinese and Japanese Cultural Experience

Dr. Suki Kwon and Dr. Jia Judy Yang taught VAR330 which discussed how to read the nuances of cultural codes through the medium of film. In spring 2017, the class revolved around food and sustainability. Over the course of the semester, students watched films that explored various cultures, cuisines, and history. The experiential learning activity Dr. Kwon and Dr. Yang implemented in this class was the opportunity to explore these cultures traditional dishes. Students and faculty from Chinese language classes and Chinese civilization and culture were also invited to the activity. The students had the chance to explore the Chinese culinary experience of making dumplings and its cultural meaning. Students were taught how to make Onigiri (rice ball) as well as immerse themselves in the Japanese culture and history connected to the Onigiri. Dr. Kwon was awarded $500 from the Experiential Learning Innovation Fund for Faculty (ELIFF). This mini-grant was used to cover the cost of ingredients and supplies for cooking.

The learning outcomes were to enhance student’s intercultural understanding and raise awareness of sustainability issues. In order to raise awareness of sustainability, Dr. Kwon had students use reusable plates and bring their own reusable mugs and utensils. The activity encouraged students to be sensitive and pay attention to ingredients produced in an ecologically sound environment. Discussion of cultural aspects of the food was incorporated to further the students receptivity to different cultures, including their food culture, and intercultural understanding. To measure the student’s understanding, discussions took place as well as pre and post surveys were given to inquire about their learning.

"It showed that learning and cooking brings people together."

Name & Title

Suki Kwon

Associate Professor


Email: Suki Kwon

Phone: 937-229-3209

Full-Time Faculty
College of Arts and Sciences: Art and Design

Jia Judy Yang

Assistant Professor


Email: Jia Judy Yang

Phone: 937-229-2762

Full-Time Faculty
College of Arts and Sciences: Global Languages and Cultures

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Office of Experiential Learning

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Dayton, Ohio 45469