Yesterday, February 8, was the Lunar New Year. Many Asian cultures celebrate this holiday, including the Chinese (春节chūn jié), Koreans (설날 Seollal), Vietnamese (Tết). My family celebrates by going out to eat for Chinese food, decorating the house a little with Chinese ornaments, and of course, red envelopes of money given to the children and unmarried. I was unable to join my family to celebrate with them this year, but I found ways to celebrate at Bryn Mawr.
My Bryn Mawr friend from Suzhou, China, Maple Lee ’17, made me a beautiful 福 fú sign to hang on my door. We hang it upside down to welcome good luck to our doors. Isn’t her handwriting beautiful?!?
The Chinese Cultural Studies Association (CCSA) also hosted a New Year dinner at SGA house with hot pot. Hot pot is where you take uncooked meats, fishes, vegetables, tofu, and noodles and soak them in boiling hot broth to cook and flavor.
New Dorm Dining Hall also served Chinese food yesterday. There was char siu (roast pork), spring rolls, dumplings, rice, noodles, and my favorite — lotus and red bean paste steamed buns.
There are a lot of Asian and Asian American students at Bryn Mawr, so I am thankful that Bryn Mawr tries to bring a little of our homes into their dining hall cooking. Most of us cannot be with our families on this special day, but food definitely makes us happy. New York City public schools are closed for Lunar New Year, so my younger cousin had a three day weekend. Bryn Mawr students still had classes, but those of us who celebrate will find time to spend times with their friends, eat Asian food, and call home wishing family members a Happy New Year.
The festivities continue into this weekend where the Asian Students Association is planning a Chinatown New Year brunch at Sang Kee Peking Duck House on Saturday and Student Activities is running a shuttle bus to Chinatown on Sunday to see the Chinese New Year parade.