Emily Martinez | Contributing Writer
Gathered in Panther Suite, guests of the FIU Japan Club eagerly honored Japanese traditions by participating in their inaugural noodle slurping contest.
On Feb. 23, Japan Club hosted their first ever noodle slurping competition, welcoming participants with a pair of chopsticks and educating attendees on the dish and the noodle-slurping tradition.
Slurping noodles is believed to be the best way to savor their taste, as well as being an audible compliment to the chef. Despite originating in China, ramen noodles have been appreciated in Japan as far back as 800 AD.
Vice President Leonardo Anchante gave an informative presentation and included a video of how to perform a quality slurp. The room erupted in excitement for what was to come.
For the first activity, participants sat at tables with beans and a cup. They were tasked with collecting and transferring the beans to the cup using only the chopsticks.
The competition was intense, with over 15 students competing and the sounds of beans hitting the cups and grunts of disapproval when the beans fell onto the table reverberating in the room. Finally, hands raised indicating that they had completed the challenge, with the first to finish being awarded reusable chopsticks.
Participants sit with their chopsticks ready | Emily Martinez, PantherNOW
The Japan Club’s president, Jordi Acosta, started his role in fall of 2022. He enjoyed being in the club because it gave him a place where he could practice Japanese and interact with the culture.
As for the Ramen Slurping contest, the idea came from their advisor who is from Japan, Naoko Komura.
“We wanted to do a Ramen event since it is one of the most famous things from Japan and thought that it would be a fun event.”
The noodle slurping contest began with each guest picking beef or chicken flavored noodles. Then, each individual went up, giving their best slurp, while the e-board members of the Japan club discussed the sound, suction, and overall performance.
When the contest was complete, the executive board debated who the winner should be. Eventually, Yupeng Tong, a senior majoring in Hospitality Management, was chosen as the winner and awarded a box of ramen and a group picture was taken to commemorate the moment.
Guests of the noodle slurping event | Emily Martinez, PantherNOW