By Jamie Lichtenstein, Communications Intern
The Wake Forest University School of Business hosted the second annual Chinese New Year celebration on January 26th in Farrell Hall. The celebration, which included traditional Chinese music, activities, and food, like dumplings and rice dishes, honored The Year of the Rooster.
“This was the first year I attended the celebration,” said Ajay Patel, Thomas S. Goho Chair in Finance. “What a wonderful way to touch our five senses. There was the food, an obvious crowd favorite, which allowed you to see, touch, taste and smell the dishes. There were visible signs all over the building reminding everyone of what we were celebrating. There were experiential activities, like creating hanging ornaments or attempting calligraphy, that allowed one to learn a little bit about the Chinese culture. Finally, seeing faculty, staff and students mingling together and hearing the conversations among them resonated so well with what we are doing in the School of Business – building a greater appreciation of, and understanding for, global competencies. While this is a great start, we have a lot more work ahead of us, and I look forward to other such opportunities.”
In Chinese culture, red envelopes are typically given to family members and friends at the start of the New Year to symbolize good luck. The School provided a table full of lucky envelopes, along with traditional activities, in the Bern Beatty Colloquium.
“My favorite part was the paper cutting and calligraphy. It drew a lot of attention from the students,” said Woody Shi (MSBA ‘17), who helped plan the event with several other students and ISS Associate Director Amanda Horton. He continued, “It was a great opportunity to let students and professors come and learn about Chinese culture. With a better understanding of multiple cultures, we’ll learn more about developing a global mindset.”
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Several of the Chinese students demonstrated the calligraphy – writing “good luck” in Chinese characters with brushes and bottles of ink for their fellow students. Then they encouraged them to try their hand at it on squares of red paper.
“I enjoyed seeing our Chinese students enjoying a celebration of home with their American students, faculty, and staff,” said Associate Professor Julie Wayne. “It was a way not only for them to feel more comfortable in the US but also a way for us to learn more about them and their culture. A way to build community and make the world smaller is for each of us to be curious about and step outside our comfort zones to learn more about others who have a different life and cultural experiences from our own. The Chinese New Year celebration gave us an opportunity to do that.”
“I truly enjoyed hearing our students’ stories from childhood and how their families honor and celebrate this special day,” said Mercy Eyadiel, chief corporate engagement office at the School.”
Anyone who walked through the Founders Living Room knew it was a special day.
“We created a warm and welcoming environment throughout the building,” Horton said. “From the large red decorations in the living room to the activities at the event, our Chinese students can feel a sense of home, something familiar, and share that with their American classmates, faculty, and staff.”
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