Universities with a diverse international student population can make students feel less homesick by making efforts to celebrate cultural events from home.
By doing so, universities promote diversity and the different cultures students come from, fostering a culture of inclusion and acceptance.
Both local and international students benefit from festivals like Chinese New Year.
The acrobatic show at Makerere University to celebrate the Chinese New Year has been a great experience. I thank H.E Zheng for cementing the good relationship between the people of Uganda and China. Long live China and Happy new year. pic.twitter.com/BRoTQIsPHZ
— Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (@ProfNawangwe) January 26, 2019
Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year as it’s referred to in some countries, is starting to wrap up its global celebrations, although it’s celebrated for nearly one month in countries like China and Malaysia.
Let’s take a look at how some universities got on board by ringing in the Year of the Pig.
In India, Chinese New Year celebrations are not as big as Diwali, but one university went out of its way to hold a grand function to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival and the Year of the Pig earlier this month.
Dancers from the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis celebrated by performing a traditional dragon dance during the Boro Art Crawl, as reported by Murfreesboro Post. The dance was followed by traditional martial arts performances.
Dr. Mei Han, Director of the Center for Chinese Music and Culture, said, “Traditionally China was an agricultural society so farming was the main industry, let’s say, 5,000 years ago. This is the beginning of the new year, and that is also a time for family to get together, very much like Christmas.”
Along with the vibrant dragon dance, the events also featured Chinese music performances using traditional instruments, and an art exhibition at The Center for the Arts by Xei Weiqiang, who paints classical Chinese artworks. The exhibition will be open until the end of the month.
Other activities included traditional face painting, paper cutting, Chinese calligraphy, snacks and “Pin the Pig’s Nose”, and children were given a traditional red envelope with money.
The second celebration was a performance by the Lily Cai Dance Company, which took the audience on a journey through Chinese history with dances from Zhou, Tang, Qing and Dai dynasties.