April 12, 2024

Traditional red-paper lanterns were placed throughout Harden Square Jan. 31 where California Baptist University’s International Center and Community Life hosted a Lunar New Year Festival to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

The CBU community gathered together with international students to learn about and appreciate Asian culture and traditions. The festival celebrated the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar, making this the Year of the Rooster.

Leslie Shelton, director of International Student Services, said the event was designed to honor East Asian students and help introduce the culture to CBU.

“It was great to watch the Chinese students enjoy this experience, especially for them with it being equivalent to Christmas,” Shelton said. “CBU is globally minded, so we hope that the domestic students really enjoyed learning about a new culture in a fun environment.”

At the event, students received free Boba tea and traditional Asian foods such as pot stickers. There were different booths around the event where students could get their name written in Korean or Chinese, practice writing characters or play Asian-inspired games.

Robyn Teruel, senior psychology major and International Center intern, said each year the festival gets bigger with the different activities and involvement from the CBU community.

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“We brought the festival to CBU so we could represent our East Asian international students and make them feel recognized and honored,” Teruel said. “Our hope was for domestic students (to) get exposed to  a new culture with the creativity of it.”

A stage was set up where professional dancers demonstrated Kung Fu and performed a traditional Chinese Lion Dance.

Rebecca Clinton, junior psychology major, said it reminded her of her International Service Project to Taiwan.

“It was cool to see how the states were celebrating Lunar New Year especially on the CBU campus,” Clinton said. “My favorite part was to see the Boba tea, the different types of candies and games because they all reminded me of Taiwan.”

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