of Chinese New Year in Wageningen
For a Dutch, the most important festival is Christmas. For a Chinese, the most important festival in a year is Spring Festival (Chinese New Year). According to lunar calendar, Spring Festival is usually in late January or early February of the Gregorian calendar. As the name states, all Chinese in the whole world celebrate the end of the winter, and welcome the coming of the new spring. As Christmas, Spring Festival is the day when families get together and have a banquet. One typical Spring Festival food is “Jiaozi” – Chinese dumpling. Every year there is a great celebration performance held by CCTV – China Central TV Station, in which including Chinese national music, songs, dancing, acrobatics, pop songs, magic, and etc. While eating the delicious “jiaozi”, families chat and watch the program. When the midnight 12:00 comes, almost the whole China is sinking into the sound from fireworks. However, in large cities as Beijing and Shanghai, fireworks are forbidden because of safety problems.
As oversea Chinese, the moment to miss home most is the Spring Festival. However, Chinese in Wageningen organized their celebration. Last Saturday night from 19:30 on, a big party was held in International club by CASSW (Chinese Association of Student and Scholars in Wageningen). The club was decorated with traditional Chinese paintings and paper-cuts. Chinese melodies were used as background music. All these with the timely snow enrich the charm of the special evening.
About 150 Chinese, students, scholars, and their families, and 50 Dutch and international students participated the event. Prof. Speelman couldn’t attend the celebration, but he sent his personal greetings with a letter that was read at the beginning of the party. Deans of the student affair, Mr. Jan van Bommel and Ms. Carla Haenen together with their kids, joined the event. They were interviewed with some questions related to Chinese students in Wageningen.
The party includes two parts: Parts 1 was the performance from Chinese students and their foreign friends, which includes songs, dance, and short drama; Parts 2 was to watch the record CCTV celebration performance, meanwhile students greeted each other for a happy New Year. The party lasted until 3:00 in the morning. Integration was one of the themes of the party. Most of the performances were contributed by both Chinese and Dutch or international students together. The DJ was Henk from Surinam. Most of the Salsa dancers were non-Chinese. The pair dance between Xinying Ren, a Ph. D. student and Jors, got a big applause. Another theme is our-own-story. A short comedy, “The first day of a Chinese student of WUR”, played by Jie Li, You Li, Sainan Zhang, and Bing Zhao who are all first year MSc students, was a great success. The about 5-min show received a dozen of laughters from the audience. Many of them could recall their excitement and embarrassment of their own first day in Holland from the comedy.
The long-term aim of CASSW, the organizer of the party, is to create a family atmosphere for all Chinese, to transfer a image of integration for Chinese to the public, and to let Dutch and international students know more about China. The party was an example of realization of its targets.