Cultural Celebrations: Chinese New Year

Soroush Kafili | Writer

Although Prince George is a small town located in the northern part of beautiful British Columbia it has welcomed a significant number of foreign students. Compared to gigantic cities like Toronto and Vancouver, we can see what a diverse culture Prince George has taken. The majority of international students choosing Prince George as their destination for post-secondary education come from China. It is quite noticeable that they have managed to form a strong community in northern BC. As we spent about one month of the winter semester, we could sense the preparation for Chinese New Year, especially around the UNBC campus. One of the surprising things most of us would not expect is how passionately people celebrate important occasions in different cultures here. As you enter the Canfor Winter Garden, you can feel the excitement for celebration; even if you do not know the exact date of Chinese New Year, you can definitely notice it from red decorations hanging off walls, saying that we are getting close to it. The colour red in Chinese culture plays a significant role. It is believed to

be the colour that wards off evil and bespeaks of happiness in Chinese ancient history. The blend of red and golden yellow gives the Winter Garden a spectacular view. Everything is ready for a new lunar year.

The day of New Year, people have gathered around to watch the special Chinese new year performance. It is always exciting to try new things especially events like this that brings joy and happiness to people when they are immersed in the atmosphere. The beauty of celebrating multicultural occasions is people have the opportunity of finding out the reason why it is valuable to that culture, and they have the opportunity to take part in activities highlighting the custom of that particular region or nation. One of the important points in participating in these cultural events is the familiarity with the customs of a nation and sharing a new perspective of that nation. The university prepared a variety of entertainment for the show featuring live music. The role of the students in holding the ceremony was very impressive.

Another interesting thing about

the celebration was the presence of university staff. People stopped by to congratulate Chinese New Year to Chinese fellows and take advantage of this opportunity to have a drink with their peers. In addition to the issues mentioned, these periods, albeit short, divert us from the everyday problems we are engaging with. I can certainly say Canada is one of the countries that has welcomed people from different regions with open arms andshapedamultinationalculture enabling everyone to blend into and never feel to be a stranger. UNBC has always been known for forming a friendly environment that suits everyone, especially international students who may cope with some difficulties adapting themselves to living in a new place. These kind of events give us the chance to interact with local and other international students to find out more about themselves and becoming aware of the features of each culture and personality traits that can be attributed to people from the same nation. This familiarity we gain through socialization is helpful in running conversation; maybe many believe it is somehow irrelevant to the topic of this article, but the essence of these kind of gatherings is to promote friendship among different cultures with distinct beliefs and UNBC has fulfilled its moral obligation as a learning institution that is not only educating folks for a promising future but also teaching them how to live in multicultural circumstances. The other aspect of performing celebrations like the Lunar New Year is how people who associate with this culture imagine themselves in an environment similar to their homeland, where they once celebrated this day of the year. In the end, it creates an extraordinary feeling for everyone. When everyone comes together and share happiness and vitality with each other through dancing, singing and other pursuits, it displays a heartwarming scene that humans no matter where they come from or what is their background can live within a place preserving their unique attributes and engage in various daily activities in peace. We are all waiting for upcoming events such as this to familiarize us with various traditions of other countries all around the world.