This is 3 days late, but… HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR!!
Some of you guys might refer to it as Chinese New Year, but Koreans celebrate it too, you know! As do the Japanese, the Thai, the Malaysian.. Pretty much any East Asian country has a separate celebration for the New Year in February. So LUNAR New Year it is.
In all honesty, Thursday (the day of the LNY) didn’t feel all that celebratory; I mean, I’m not with my family, and almost everyone here celebrated New Year’s Day over a month ago.
Well, so did I, but that’s not to say my family doesn’t have TWO New Year celebrations – DOUBLE THE FUN, YAY!!
If my family still lived back in Korea, there would definitely be a lot of hooplah about the most recent New Year’s Day, but since we don’t… I had to settle for an e-mail to Korea and a phone call home, while my family just had a small dinner together.
There WAS a Chinese New Year’s party on Tuesday, thanks to my Chinese professors.
I wouldn’t be exaggerating when the Chinese department at Hamilton is one of the best in the country; seriously, it’s really, really prestigious (to think I didn’t even know this when I registered for the class…).
And since New Year’s Day is THE most important holiday on the Lunar calendar, the entire department organized a Chinese New Year party, inviting all the Hamilton students who are studying Chinese (freshman to seniors), native Chinese students, faculty, and other guests.
It was a pretty huge event, and the professors put A LOT of work into it, from decorating to ordering the food to prepping all the skits and music.
So I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we are all extremely grateful for all the work the professors put into this! It was a really fun, with lots of laughs, good company and delicious food.
I was the designated photographer for the event (I know, I was shocked too) so here are a couple of the photos that I took – enjoy!
Since this IS a food blog, I went a little overboard with the food photos – I hope no one thought I was too weird…
I’m not an expert on Chinese foods, so the captions are what I’m guessing the food is. Don’t take my word for it; I’m sure a couple of them are totally off.
Yes, I took pictures of people food-laden plates. That’s not too creepy, is it? Anyways, I didn’t get to take pictures of all the food that came (there were at least 20 different dishes), but you’ll probably be able to get an idea of some of the other choices by looking at these plate-shots.
Here is one food I do know something about – jiaozi, or dumplings. They’re a traditional New Year’s food (in Korean culture too) because they look like money pouches, symbolizing wealth and prosperity for the new year. These were chicken-filled, but I’d still take Korean rice cake and dumpling soup over this any day.
Like I said, there were a lot more dishes that I didn’t get to photograph – namely vegetable ones. I appreciated how the professors got such a wide variety of foods – for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. And while they did order some of the generic, Chinese-American takeout, they made it a point to get more of the authentically Chinese cuisine; hence the overload of veggies. Hooray for cruciferous organisms slathered with delicious sauciness!
After everyone had gotten their food, we all sat around large tables to talk and eat – with people knew and also those we had never met before.
And then… it was time for the performances!
All of the grades, from the first-years to the seniors, were represented in some way, shape, or form, be it:
Or musical performances.
The freshman had to go up and sing, although I managed to avoid the stage by busying myself with taking pictures. Whew, did I dodge a bullet there!
Student-produced movies were also enjoyed:
As were professional dancers.
Everyone had a really good time – a few of the skits got a lot of laughs from the crowd.
And funny faces were made too.
And there were cute babies too (I think they were one of the professors’ kids?)
So even though I couldn’t spend the New Year with my family, this was an awesome alternative.
And although taking these pictures was a lot of work, I know that it was nothing compared to the effort the professors put in.
And for everyone else… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Xinnian kuaile, and gongxi gongxi!