It is true that Chinese always gather together. I think it is partly because of our tradition. For thousands of years, Chinese people have lived in big families that may contain 3 or even 4 generations. As a result, we are afraid of “loneliness” and tend to join a “circle” to be surrounded by others, especially in an unfamiliar environment.
I live in University Village, where many Chinese students live. Soon after moving in, I held a party and invited my neighbor (who are also Chinese – one of my neighbors even comes from my undergraduate university). We got familiar with each other when eating hot pot together that night. Thanks to hot pot!
In my “hot pot” party, I knew one of my neighbors, Huang, is very good at cooking. When my roommates and I were quite familiar with him and his roommate, we sometimes would go to his apartment for dinners. Below is what he made for us, looks delicious right? With delicious food, beer (we are all over 21 years old!), and talk, we always have great time!
Apart from parties with my neighbors, Chinese in Ohio have other kinds of parties. For example, I was invited to a party on Labor Day. It was held by the Southeast University Alumni Association in Ohio. These members held an annual party so that they can build relationships with each other. The party was held in a park. For me, it was a new experience to have lunch in such an environment: with sunshine, wind, and grass, people grabbing food and talking around me, and with children laughing when they are flying kites. It was wonderful!
It is true that Chinese like gathering together. But it is not because they lack confidence or are dependent. Parties for us are not a celebration but an opportunity to meet with each other, share food, information and feelings, and to get support.