Feasting and festivities herald the Year of the Pig

Feasting and festivities herald the Year of the Pig

INTO CSU Chinese New Year 2

Any excuse for a party, you may say, but the Lunar New Year is the number one event of the year for our Chinese students. INTO News takes a look at how some INTO centres went over the top to celebrate the transition from Dog to Pig.

The Year of the Pig started off strong at INTO Colorado State University as students, teachers and staff members gathered for a meal, complete with Chinese hot pot and vegetarian options. Student Ambassadors Cerine and Maggie organised the event, and attendees were not disappointed.

All round, it was a night where people from many different cultures came together to learn new traditions and honor old ones.

“It was like home,” said Yibei, a Student Ambassador from China. “I celebrated Chinese New Year here with my close friends. The preparation started a few days ahead of time, because some ingredients were hard to find. We cooked tons of dishes together, which took a whole day to do, and played poker games, which was fun although I didn’t win. The students enjoyed the food and fun activities that INTO Student Ambassadors provided.”

The teams at INTO London World Education Centre and INTO City, University of London combined their efforts to come up with a celebration that attracted a large number of students and staff.

Dumplings galore and a feast of other traditional dishes dominated the café area of the City-centre building. Chinese festival TV programmes and the buzz and enthusiasm that characterises our INTO students also featured during the early February lunchtime party:

“Happy New Year to all Chinese students, and thank you for your delicious meal,” commented Senay, who is from Turkey.

Chinese student Libing had this to say: “Spring Festival is the most important time of the year in Chinese culture. We were very lucky to have had a Chinese New Year Celebration at INTO City. We had a great time with friends and teachers and lots of traditional Chinese Food. Happy Chinese New Year!”

And, finally, INTO City’s and INTO London’s Student Service Co-ordinators Tamanna Ahmed and Rouzana Rashid added: “Chinese New Year was a great event for the centre, and we saw many people from all different backgrounds get together and celebrate!” “We love hosting events like this in centre, and hope our students enjoyed it!”

Meanwhile, over at INTO Queen’s University Belfast, 98 students joined teachers and the Student Services and Academic Support team to eat hotpot, make Chinese Lanterns and take part in a lucky prize draw.

The evening of February 5 began with traditional Chinese music from former INTO Queen’s student, Chang Liu who played beautifully on the guzheng – a type of zither.

And, in a spot of role-reversal, INTO Queen’s International Year One in Management and Finance student Chang Chen educated her teachers in how to make the perfect hotpot. “We appreciate the INTO staff organising the Chinese New Year event for us because it is such a meaningful time of the year. As international students studying in the UK, we can see the care that staff have for students studying abroad. We were so happy to share our culture with the staff and students from other nationalities,” said Chang.

Shan Zhang, Chinese Language Support Officer at INTO Queen’s, who was just one of those who was behind the event and prize draw, said: “It was wonderful to see so many staff and students from different nationalities participating in the event and sharing culture. I am so pleased our students enjoyed the event as I know difficult it must be for them to be far away from their families during such an important time. I would love to thank my colleagues for all the support, especially the student Assistants who did a fantastic job making sure everyone had a great time and a memorable first UK Chinese New Year.”

To get everyone in the Chinese New Year spirit, in early February, INTO The University of Stirling was festooned with paper lanterns, wall hangings and posters.

Many INTO students also went along to an event in the main university which was organised by the UOS marketing team and the Chinese Students & Scholars Association. During the evening they had a go at traditional calligraphy, honed their chopsticks skills, tasted popular Chinese snacks and watched a Chinese Lion dance from Yee's Hung Ga Edinburgh Kung Fu.

INTO University of Gloucestershire students kicked off Chinese New Year with tasty mid-morning snacks and traditional fortune telling, run by the Centre’s Chinese Language Support Officer, Yu-Fen. Students were able to ask questions about their study, or life, and see what fate might hold in store for them!

Pallas conservatory provided the perfect location and was decked out in traditional red with lanterns for decoration. The INTO CNY video, complete with pig ‘oink’ sound effects, was played on the TV screen and was especially popular as it featured 2 students from the centre!

INTO Drew University’s lively Chinese New Year celebrations started off with a video in which people from around campus sent well wishes for a happy new year.

Then it was fun all the way for the 60-70 students and others who attended the February 13 event organized by Drew University’s Chinese Culture Club. There was food (Chinese snacks, pizza, dumplings and bubble tea brought in from NYC), student performances (guitar, piano, signing, beat boxing, dancing) and CNY trivia game, including prizes. In short, an all-round, authentic experience for the students from the Chinese Culture Club, INTO Drew Staff, other American and International Drew students who came along.

And last, but certainly not least, University and INTO SLU students, friends of students, faculty and staff enjoyed Chinese food and traditional performances at the Busch Student Center at Saint Louis University on Sunday February 10 – all organized by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association. 

All great ways to bring in the Chinese New Year INTO-style. Hope you have a great Year of the Pig!

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