Christmas Gala- the story unveiled

Festive lights on the streets of Rotterdam and the sight of white-bearded man arriving by boat from Spain marks the beginning of not just the cold Dutch winter, but also the joyful holiday season. At this time of year, the Chinese Students Association of Erasmus University Rotterdam (CSA-EUR) is in midst of preparing arrangements for the annual Christmas Gala.

The program

Catered for details

This year, the events committee of CSA-EUR wanted to take the gala to a new level by adding an after-party to the program, and after scouting a wide range of locations ended up by the river at the upscale Aqua Asia.

“The Gala is a special event that brings together members of CSA-EUR to celebrate the festive season”- Jiaxin Ma, CSA President

So far, the events committee has worked to put together a great menu, prepared a table setting to match, and overcame an initial misfit in the date of the event. But as with any large event, the planning wasn’t without difficulties. Despite the myriad of restaurants situated in Rotterdam, one of the difficulties faced by the events committee was venue selection. To find the ideal location to host the Gala, we listed some of the factors that we thought were of greatest importance, with these being: warm atmosphere, intimate setting and budget.

After coming up and contacting an initial list of restaurants, we fine-tuned our list further by looking at the dishes offered and opted to give preference to Asian-inspired fine dining cuisine considering the nature of CSA-EUR. Finally, after paying a visit to our top choices and negotiating on a final menu, we settled on Aqua Asia. With the approaching of the date of the Gala, the events committee are looking to brush up on the finer details of the event; red carpets, gifts, and ambient music. And as small and irrelevant as some details may seem, the neglecting of such details are what often creates the major issues, and the attention to such details are what makes an event memorable.

The venue, Aqua Asia Club

As Steve Job’s once said, “details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right”. With hours of planning behind the Gala we expect it to be a night to remember!

Christmas Gala 2016 is hosted in Aqua Asia on the 19th of December. For more information about the prices, menu and program, click here.

Written by Jeffrey Chen

Channel Your Inner-Christmassy Spirit!


Has your ego been bruised by being impossible to pass exams? Has Christmas shopping made you cry over your bank account balance? Has the commercialization of Christmas made you lose your faith in this festive season?

If you’re in that boat, you’re the only one. December is a notorious month for college students- endless assignments, countless hours of studying, and late nights wondering if you even need a degree. However, with the festive season approaching and the days to winter vacation coming close, there is a need for optimism. You need to release the spirit of that inner 5-year-old who woke up on Christmas day running down the stairs to see what gifts Santa left behind! Without further ado, here we provide you 10 oldie-but-goldie tips to get you in that fine holiday spirit!

  1. Find your Ugly-christmas sweater (or grandma sweater) and put it on.

2. Get a Christmas tree up and decorated! Afterwards, turn the house lights off, the tree lights on, and follow through with step 3.

My all-time fav! What’s your Xmas movie?

3. Watch a holiday movie! From older titles like Home Alone, the Peanuts Christmas Special, or newer ones such as A Christmas Tale, anything holiday season will do. Or for those Sherlock Holmes fans, re-watch seasons 1-3 in preparation for Season 4!  

4. Learn about the seven types of Christmas trees (yes, there are 7 of them!) and show off to everyone how much useful tree knowledge you have.

5. Fill your music library with holiday tunes! Nothing will remind you more that the festive season is upon us than the voice of Bing Crosby singing White Christmas.

“If someone tells you it’s too early for Christmas music, stop talking to them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life” – Unknown

6. Bake some butter rich sugary cookies and smell that vanilla scent fill the apartment.  

7. Perform random acts of kindness and random acts of laughter. Whether this is opening a door for someone, donating to charity, or making someone laugh with an awful pun, small acts can make someone’s day.

8. Eat Christmassy food. With all the feasts and gala’s there is no shortage of delicious food. So fatten up and see the mercury in that spirit-o-meter expand!

9. Visit a Xmas market! Prague? Vienna? Cologne? Get yourself on the road to wonderland!

10. Dress up in glamorous attire and get tickets to the CSA-EUR Christmas Gala! Early-bird tickets are sold out, but you can still get yourself a seat at the upscale Aqua Asia and enjoy a 4-course dinner with your favorite pals or your stunning date. (Disclaimer: an After party is also included!)

Checking off these 10 tips and you should be set for a “Happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days”! – Charles Dickens

Written by Jeffrey Chen

First event of the year: Moon Festival 2016


12027186_875071402570719_499416669940314139_oThe Mid-Autumn Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by the Chinese and Vietnamese people. Another term for this festival is the Moon Festival. It is held on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese Han calendar and the Vietnamese calendar. This is usually between mid September and the beginning of October. This year it is at Thursday 15th of September.

The three main concepts of the Mid-autumn festival are: –       Gathering. Family and friends come together. They share food and do activities together. Sometimes people give gifts to each other. –       Thanksgiving, to give thanks for the harvest. This also consists of moon worship. The ancient Chinese believed in the association between rejuvenation and the moon. –       Praying, such as for a spouse, babies, health and more! Nowadays the festival is still celebrated. Family and friends come together and share the so called ‘Mooncakes’ and have dinner together. Traditionally they are round; this is a symbol for completeness and unity. The crust is thin, made of sugar, water and oil. The cake has a sweet, dense filling. The traditional filling of the mooncakes is lotus seed paste, sweet bean paste or jujube paste. Because CSA-EUR wants to give you the feeling of being in a family, we celebrate this festival by gathering in The VIP Room and share FREE mooncakes together! Of course we have multiple activities, such as karaoke and beer pong. It wouldn’t be a celebration of the Moon Festival if CSA-EUR does not have GIFTS. Therefore, during the night you can win BRONZE PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP and more! Next to that, from 20.00-22.00h you can apply for FREE general membership for 5 years! Please click on attend at the Facebook event: Moon Festival 2016 and see you there! 11951501_875072342570625_5877568419445800067_o  11059687_875075272570332_664516052497866369_o          

The Banana Life


Are you more like a Mainland Chinese, or a Western Asian? To which group can you relate more? Find out now!

Why do you click on this picture bro?


The banana life

Who needs the good life, if you can live the banana life, right? Whether you are a mainland or a Dutch born, the banana life is open for everyone. Never heard of it? Or you simply don’t know how? Luckily for you, I made a set of simple steps in order to fully transform you into a banana.

What is the banana life?

While the Chinese have their own culture, traditions and way of living, so do the Dutch. But what if these cultures would clash and emerge into one? The banana life is lived by people that grew up with Chinese values surrounded by western friends, or in a western environment. And if you haven’t figured it out by now, the banana refers the fact that the banana is yellow on the outside… And guess what color it is on the inside…

In order for you to fully enjoy the banana life, here’s what you should do.

banana 1





banana 3


When it comes down to food, it’s not that hard to live like a banana. There is just one rule: never use your kitchen. Always have a group of friends that you can meet up with, in case you want to grab a bite. By the time that you graduate, you should be able to come up with a list of restaurants which should be longer than your thesis.

Game night

For some reason, banana’s like to have game nights. A night where you either play card games, board games or other games. Therefore a banana should know how to play at least 5 card games. Also having board game sets at your disposal increases your level of banananess.


There are certain rules that you should follow when it comes to clubbing. It starts at the pre drink. The pre drink with your buddies should take at least 3 hours! This way it ensures you that you will not only be in the zone, but also pretty tipsy by the time that you arrive at the club. When you are in the club, make sure that you dance on the beat. I mean, come on guys, it’s not that hard. Just practice some two-steps at home, so you can bring the ultimately banana look to the club.


From my experience, the mainland Chinese guys tend to be less ‘touchy’ when hanging out with bro’s. I must admit, during my Dutch life, I’ve seen many Dutch guys grinding on each other, covering it by calling it ‘bromance’. I would say that the banana bromance is somewhere in between these two. As a banana, all your banana bro’s should be comfortable with a hug once in a while, just don’t push it too far.

banana 2


banana 4

If you keep all these things in mind, you should be one step closer to the banana life.

Kind regards,



Certified banana life instructor