International students at Syracuse Architecture are organizing the event in collaboration with Dean Michael Speaks.
The Slocum Hall atrium will be decorated and transformed to create a festival-like atmosphere as architecture students take a break from the pressures of studio life to enjoy dumplings, tea, and chocolate coins, and activities such as calligraphy, a photo booth, and paper cutting.
Says architecture student Fei Hu, “I think we are planning this event well, and I am excited about this! The decorations and food we have will bring the original sense and taste of the Lunar New Year event to Slocum Hall for not only people from Asia but the whole school. I believe that everyone will enjoy it!”
Syracuse Architecture has a widely diverse population … faculty and students come from all around the globe, many from the Asian continent. Events such as this offer international students opportunity to share traditions of their homelands with classmates and build greater cultural understanding. The Lunar New Year party in particular brings a piece of home to Syracuse University for Asian students who typically miss out on family celebrations back home since the holiday takes place mid-February.
“This will be my sixth time spending Lunar New Year in the U.S., away from home,“ says Chengcheng (Tony) Li. “My heart is warmed and greatly touched by the celebration event that will be hosted by the School of Architecture because it will be the first time in years that I can celebrate the most important festival in my culture in a proper way with my friends. I really appreciate how the School of Architecture embraces different cultures and cares about their international students.”
“I think it’s really nice to have such an event here,” says Le Yang. “It will make Slocum Hall seem more like a home. The tradition of the Chinese is to go back to grandparents, and all family members gather together to celebrate the New Year. However, because of the different schedules of U.S. and China, we haven’t been able to go back to celebrate the New Year for four years. In previous years we tried to gather a few friends together to have the celebration. But this year we will have the event in Slocum. I’m proud of the school. It’s also a nice opportunity to let different cultures communicate. I hope there will be more events like this from all different cultures in the future.”
Says student Xingyao (Yao) Wang, “When I saw Lunar New Year posters hung on the wall in Slocum Hall and the words ‘Come join us in Slocum Atrium!’ posted online and retweeted everywhere within an hour, I felt Syracuse is so close to home.” (by Elaine Wackerow)