Chinese students shared their food and culture as they celebrated the Year of the Horse Friday evening.
© Lynn Curwin
Jinde Lan, left, provided some information about Chinese calligraphy while Yongshan Chen demonstrated the art and created a banner during Chinese New Year celebrations in Bible Hill Friday evening. The event included information on Chinese culture as well as a meal.
The Bible Hill Village Hall was packed with students and other community members for the Chinese New Year festivities organized by the International Student Association at the Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture.
“We are able to show the culture of China to local people,” said association president and aquaculture student Jinde Lan. “We have many Chinese students at Dal. Canadians are famous for being polite and friendly and that is one of the reasons we choose to study here. I really like this town.””
Lan said he learned to ski and skate last winter and he plans to go to British Columbia to work after graduation.
Audrey-Jo McClunkey, of Valley, attended the event with her three pre-school aged children.
“I teach at Dal so I know a lot of the students,” she said. “A lot of the people here are from the campus but there are other people from the community here too. I was at the celebration they had at St David’s last year and it was overflowing.””
Members of the local Taoist Tai Chi group provided a demonstration and information on their art form. They explained that Tai Chi has the potential to improve balance, coordination, leg strength and circulation. They offer regular classes and health recovery classes (which can be done seated). Beginner classes are starting soon and people are welcome to attend their first lesson with no obligation. More information on Taoist Tai Chi can be found online at www.taoist.org .
Jinglin Chen and Hefei Lin talked about the Chinese spring festival, which runs from January 31 to February 6. Spring festival is celebrated in several places besides China, including Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Macau and Taiwan.
Chinese mythology includes a beast called Nian, who comes out of hiding around Chinese New Year. Nian is afraid of loud noises, bright lights and the colour red so those things are associated with the holiday.
Yongshan Chen provided a demonstration of Chinese calligraphy and created an eye-catching banner in red and black. He also brought small banners with him, which he gave to some of those in attendance.
The Chinese calendar system names each year, in a 12-year cycle, after an animal and this is the year of the horse. Other animals in the cycle are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.