Chinese New Year celebration
Grand Forks Travel Blog› entry 7 of 16 › view all entries
I was invited to celebrate the Chinese New Year by my advisor. I had never been to a Chinese New Year celebration and was really hoping it would involve dancing paper dragons (it did not). It was held at the International Center on campus and when I walked in I was a little overwhelmed. The room was crowded with over 100 Chinese people and only a handful of white people. I didn't know we had this many Chinese people in our community! And then I was surprised by the number of faces I did recognize. I saw some of my fellow students and another faculty member of our department. I found a seat and sat awkwardly waiting to see what would happen, surrounded by people speaking Chinese and not understanding a word of it.
The program began aroun 6:30 pm and was announced in Chinese. It was then restated breifly in English: welcome to the Chinese New Year. We have food and it will be served children first, then women, then men.
Interesting. That is really how they do it - the children were in line first, followed by the women. I hung out with my experiment cohort and her daughter. I didn't know what most of the food was, but I tried everything that didn't look like beef. My favorite was some little yellow curry noodles. By the time we got our food, our seats had been taken by the children (where they come from?). So we took some seats at a nearby table and tried to finish eating before the men got back with their food.
I was hoping for a little more festival activities, like I said, I wanted to see a big dragon and a parade or something. There wasn't room for that - only for some small games so we watched while the children played musical chairs and some other games. One game was for older boys and involved eating some pastry thing that looked hard to eat fast and then blowing up a balloon until it popped. Next was a game where you fill bowls with flour and then blow a ping pong from bowl to bowl (making a big mess). And finally was Chinese karaoke complete with lyrics written in Chinese characters along with a music video. We stayed for one song but then had to get back to our experiment.