“Edison” Jie Yang
International Food Festival participant
Chinese food has long been a staple at the Montana State University Billings international food fair, and this year will be no different.
“Edison” Jie Yang is one of the Chinese students who is looking forward to sharing a taste of his home country with the Billings community at the event on March 21.
“I think I have a gift. I have a talent in cooking.”
Edison shows off this gift through his part-time job in the school cafeteria with Sodexo, which is hosting the event. He also cooks Chinese food with his friends in the residence halls.
Dishes from China this year include sweet and sour pork chops, tofu, garlic scallops, and dumplings. All of these dishes will be prepared by Chinese students who are studying at MSUB. Edison is excited to give others a chance to try these delicious foods.
“We are not afraid to show off our cooking skills.”
Edison is working towards obtaining a degree in finance. He is on schedule to graduate this spring after spending two and a half years at MSUB. After graduation, he wishes to enroll in the university’s master's degree program, pursuing experience in public relations.
“I want people to know that we are good at communicating with people,” said Edison. “We are not afraid of speaking.”
Edison has adjusted into a new culture well, and his English has improved immensely through his studies here.
“The business program is good. I especially like the management class. It helps me communicate with Americans.”
Moving to Billings was quite the transition for Edison, who is originally from Shanghai, China. Shanghai has a population of over 14 million people, which is much higher than the population of the entire state of Montana. He said that he likes how wide open it is in Montana.
“It was a difficult move. I come from a big, modern city. Billings is so small in comparison.”
However, he has enjoyed the transition and has taken advantage of the new opportunities that Montana has to offer, including skiing, hiking, and visiting national parks.
“Living in Billings has been a special experience,” said Edison.
Edison hopes that he can give back to Billings by helping them learn about his culture at this event. To him, tasting the food of his home is an excellent way to do this.
Food from Edison’s home country of China, along with various other nations from around the world, will be featured at the MSUB food fair on Monday, March 21 from 4:30 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. in the MSUB cafeteria. Admission is $18.75 for adults and $13.75 for children ages 12 and under and features all-you-can-eat gourmet food. This event is open to the public.