Assistant News Editor
The Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) hosted a Spring Festival to celebrate the New Lunar Year.
Jiang Zhu, a junior business major from Chengdu, China and the president of CSSA, talked about the significance of the Spring Festival in Chinese culture.
“The Chinese New Year is very important in Chinese culture,” Zhu said. “Not only is it the beginning of a new calendar year, but also a centuries-old tradition celebrated throughout China annually, similar to Christmas in American culture.”
Zhu said he enjoyed the performances and fellowship at the festival.
“I felt really good when everybody got together just like a family would back home,” Zhu said. “My favorite thing about the celebration is watching the performances and having dinner with my friends.”
Dr. David Van Buskirk, a lecturer at Sorrell College of Business, said he appreciated the performances and games played at the festival and said it was a unique opportunity for domestic students.
“I really enjoyed seeing all the talented international students that we have on campus perform in front of a large audience,” Van Buskirk said. “The introduction of the red envelopes containing lucky money was really interesting and fun to see, especially the students (who were) really excited and playing along to try and earn one of the envelopes.
“It was a great opportunity to allow our domestic students the ability to learn and have a personal experience in regards to something new about Chinese culture.”
Matthew Knopps, a junior marketing major from Pell City, Alabama, said he was excited to be a part of the Chinese students’ journey away from home.
“I loved this year’s Chinese Spring Festival,” Knopps said. “My favorite part is always the food; they had a great selection, and it was very traditional.
“I’ve participated in spring festivals before, but this year I attended the event with several Chinese friends and I never knew how homesick they were until they began reminiscing about their family and friends. I was really excited to be part of their home away from home.”