Entrances and streets on and around the campus have been adorned, having scarlet the most glaring and dominant colour, with several arts of gold in it. These decorations were simply beautiful to behold and they were heralding the coming of great merry.
As per the tradition now in NUIST, the College of International Students (CIS) organized a New Year celebration for its students who stayed on campus on the 14th of February. On that day, people trooped into the 1960 Dining Hall in a good number to witness the grandeur of the on-campus Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration. Although the actual New Year is on the 16thof February, NUIST International students were given the opportunity to have a feel of what this festive moment is like, just as in previous years.
Students together with the NUIST leadership assembled as one people and as one family to observe the New Year before the actual day. The President of NUIST, Dr. Li Beiqun, together with his Vice-President, Prof. Jin Xuan, and the rest of his team of directors, graced the event with their presence. One could see the excitement and thrill on the faces of those who were experiencing the Chinese New Year for the first time while the old-timers were only seeing another episode of this great festival.
The event commenced with a song from a CIS-NUIST singing group with a song titled “Mo Li Hua”, a folk song in Jiangsu Province. Then came the prominent Chale Band, CIS-NUIST’s treasure, with a soothing background jazz music just as an appetizer for performances to come. Concurrently, the Chinese art, popularly known as Chinese Calligraphy, was underway. It was very pleasing to the eyes, as the holders of the brushes were coming off with great artistic writings.
Two cute and adorable Syrian kids, Leen and Hannin, fluent in both Chinese and English, sang and Chinese song called the “Small Rabbit” and gave a rendition of a popular children’s rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in both languages. There went the audience, swept away by the performance, with a stream of applause.
Followed by the performance was a lucky draw and interestingly, a “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” performer was the first winner of the draw! Who saw that coming?!! She deserved it anyway. After that was a performance from a Student-Indonesian singing group who gave us the well-known world song “Heal the World”.
The Chale band was back in action again with variety – from Jazz to Reggae. They sang two popular songs from the famous Bob Marley: “Three Little Birds” and “One Love”. This was a sublime performance that carried the audience away. Again came the sisters, Leen and Hannin, who led all gathered there to sing the “Happy New Year” song.
We watched the NUIST President and his team go upfront to sing the popular Chinese song called “Pengyou”. All seated faces were beaming and the fun couldn’t have gotten any better! It was nice having them sing and that showed the active participation of everyone at the event.
Then came the gift sharing which is an important part of the occasion. There was an assortment of beautifully packaged gifts that were randomly meted out to the attendees. After the gift collection was the lunch and readily-made dumplings, the main meal for the occasion, were served. After a while came varieties of dishes like xihongshi jidan, fried onions, duck, chicken, beansprout, cucumber soup and several other green vegetables.
Meanwhile, the Chale Band was doing a great job from beginning to end, entertaining the audience with great music. People mingled, chatted and laughed with each other as they dined and it was a time of love and togetherness.
The iNET together with CIS-NUIST take this opportunity to wish everybody a happy and prosperous Year of the Dog. Xinnian Kuai Le!!!!
Author: Solomon Amankwah
Photographer: Annif Benstrong and Khant Hmu Paing
Reviewer: Kenny Lim Kam Siam
Layout: Ayu Kusumaningtyas
Editor: Geraldi C Pamuji