Chinese New Year 2019

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Chinese New Year 2019

Olivia P. Tucker, Sections Editor

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The year of the dog came to a close as VU students, faculty and community members of Vincennes gathered to welcome in the year of the pig at the Chinese New Year banquet which took place on Tuesday Feb. 5.  Zhe Ji, Director of International Student Affairs introduced the program, along with some of the international students from Xuyi and Funing in China.

The students that spoke included Xuejao Shao who goes by Anne, Zixiao Ma who goes by Mark, Sunlong Lin who goes by Dwyane, and Shichao Que who goes by Que.

Anne and Mark are from Xuyi and shared the culture of their home in China, even explaining that there was a crawfish festival.

Dwyane and Que are from Funing and explained that “FU” means blessing, happiness and good luck. Dwyane said that he hoped that everyone celebrating was blessed with happiness as they were there celebrating the new year.

After the students shared their cultures with everyone, Ji expressed how there have been VU professors that travel to Funing to not only experience the culture but also give students from China the opportunity to learn what VU has to offer for international students.

Students and faculty from the Basic Conversational Chinese course taught by Ji recited a poem called Chun Xiao, which translates to Spring Morning by Meng Haoran.

When the students finished with the poem, Ying Shang, the dean of engineering and computer science at the University of Evansville, spoke. She shared her own knowledge and experiences of being someone from China who traveled to the United States. She stated to the crowd listening to her words that she had been in the U.S. since 2000 and was intimidated by the English language because though she learned it, it wasn’t the same as speaking it right away.

The language barrier didn’t stop Shang from achieving her academic goals, “Keep believing in yourself, it will happen,” She said as an inspiration to keep on towards goals.

Shang even admitted that she was not only the first female dean, but she was also the first international dean for University of Evansville engineering and computer science.

The glass ceiling concept is commonly known for minorities; however, for those of the Asian culture, especially woman, there is another barrier that they have to get over in the workforce. It is called the bamboo ceiling, which according to Shang is a very new term, but it heavily applies to minorities such as Asian woman who have to overcome obstacles to get jobs in their fields. Shang said to make employees and leaders aware of the existence of bamboo ceiling.

Shang said that she struggled with seeing people become successful in reaching their goals because she wanted to see everyone obtain their goals.

In her closing statement, Shang said about reaching goals, “Getting there isn’t important, it’s how you get there.”

With Shang concluding with audience questions, Ji stood up and taught the mandarin word for “cheers” which is gan bei, 乾杯 (sounds like “gun bae”). Everyone raised their glasses saying “gan bei” as glasses clanged against one another to cheer for 2019.

The end of the night the crowd was introduced to the century egg or as it’s referred to in China, Pidan. Ji showed the audience a video explaining this delicacy. The egg was a greenish color and was described as smelling like cleaning solution, which made those who watched uneasy.

After the video concluded, Ji gave the crowd the opportunity, if they so wished, to try the egg. Several people stood up, willing to give the egg a chance. But those who did hesitated, allowing the opportunity to smell before trying it, only to find out that the egg tasted like an ordinary hard boiled egg.

Roxane Wong, business administration from Hong Kong, China stated that the banquet felt realistic to her. The colors, the environment, even the people made the banquet feel like home to her.

Wong said, “It makes me feel like I’m back in Hong Kong celebrating the New Year.”

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