Lunar New Year Held at Suffolk

Ryan Powell  Int’l Editor

Alex Hall  Managing Editor

The Chinese New Year, more formally known as the Lunar New Year, was celebrated with a diverse and engaged crowd at Suffolk‘s 73 Tremont building last Monday. The Chinese Scholar Student Association at Suffolk organized the event, drawing both students and faculty of all national and ethnic backgrounds.

It has become a pivotal part of Suffolk’s tradition to welcome cultures from across the globe with open arms. Large portions of Suffolk students are international students, allowing for a diverse and well-rounded community on campus. This effort was exhibited at this year’s Lunar New Year on Campus.

Traditional Chinese instruments were played throughout the event with authentic Chinese clothing on display as well. It was an atmosphere that made more than a few of Suffolk’s Chinese community feel at home during the holiday.

The Lunar New Year is celebrated worldwide and represents the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar. With a long and enduring history, the New Year is actively celebrated in areas of the world with significant Chinese populations in Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia, but is not limited to simply regional sentiments. Making it all the way to Suffolk’s Boston campus, the New Year has given students of Chinese decent, those on exchanges or studying in the United States for the entirety of their studies, a chance to find a piece of their native culture.

The event was well received, displaying native instruments, wide-ranging cuisine, and historical attire that represent a long history established through evolving dynasties, religions, and cultural norms. Suffolk students participating in the event had a great deal to say on their role in the event as well as their feelings of being away from home on this important, cherished day in China.

“It can be hard to celebrate [while in Boston] and this helps with the homesickness,” Suffolk sophomore Xingyng Mei said while in line for Chinese food, which she was also excited for.

“I also got lots of lucky money,” she explained.

Lucky money is often given to children by their parents or relatives on the New Year in a red envelope, which symbolizes good luck and is believed to prevent evil spirits.

Mei was not alone in her excitement for the free lunch, with many waiting in line for several minutes for the wide variety of Chinese food available. After the line had died down and students began to mingle amongst themselves, fellow Suffolk students began to play music using instruments native to China.

Accounting graduate students Crnyin Fan and Yi Gao were at the booth displaying the Chinese attire and explained how they celebrate the holiday back in China and adjusting to celebrating in Boston.

“If you’re in China, everyone goes to their hometown and families get together just like Christmas,” Fan said.

As for celebrating abroad, Gao said “people here are very nice,” and she has adjusted to being in Boston for the celebration.

On the Suffolk campus, there is an active effort made to embrace the cultural norms and traditions of the wide-spread nationalities and religions that call Suffolk their home for their undergraduate degrees or even longer. From the Saudi National Day to events such as the Caribbean Student Network, traditional cuisine, clothing, and practices are displayed on campus to promote an often hard to come by understanding.

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