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Unable to Return Home due to COVID-19, Overseas Chinese and Foreign Students Shop Early for Traditional New Year

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    • Source: 正修科技大學
    • Date: 2022/02/14

    The overseas Chinese and foreign students could not return to their home countries for the traditional new year during the summer vacation due to severe COVID-19 situations. The Office of International Affairs, Cheng Shiu University, organized an early traditional New Year event for these students, where the activities included shopping, red envelope lucky draws, decoupage, playing slot machines, and tasting crystal candied haws. These fun and festive experiences were aimed to comfort the homesick. As a new year tradition, President Jui-Chang Kung gave out red envelopes and wished all overseas Chinese and foreign students a healthy and academically rewarding Year of the Tiger.

    Due to the escalation of the pandemic in other countries, overseas Chinese and foreign students in Cheng Shiu University from Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, India, Malaysia, Switzerland, and Norway could not return homes this year to reunite with families. They could only stay in Taiwan during the winter vacation because COVID-19 was relatively controlled here.

    To help these students get over homesickness, the Office of International Affairs, Cheng Shiu University, decided to organize something other than the conventional gatherings for eating and drinking. Chinese cultural elements were integrated into the event this year with real traditional flavor to celebrate the new year together, and the “Cheng Shiu New Year Market” was put together. There was a finely decorated gate tower, and fortune bags were found on both sides of the street, as well as the Cheng Shiu Grocery Store and a booth for crystal candied haws. Overseas Chinese and foreign students could stroll the market, play the slot machines and participate in the lucky draw for red envelopes. There were also colored papers available for cutting mandarin characters, such as Peace and Spring. All these activities were meant to create a traditional new year atmosphere.

    Immediately upon arriving at the event, President Jui-Chang Kung was welcomed by over 100 overseas Chinese and foreign students, and they greeted him cheerfully with “Mr. President!”

    President Jui-Chang Kung mentioned that during the festival season, as the overseas Chinese and foreign students could not return homes due to COVID-19, this traditional new year campaign was organized to help them deal with homesickness, understand the new year customs and traditions in Taiwan, and experience the merry atmosphere.  

    According to Nguyễn Thi Van, a sophomore student from Vietnam studying in the Department of Industrial Engineering & Management, the new year in Vietnam is mostly about eating, drinking, and going out, and because there are no special customs or activities, the celebration is not as fun and lively as in Taiwan.

    Fa-ti Ho, a senior student from Indonesia studying in the Department of Industrial Engineering & Management, said that the new year in Indonesia is about a lot of food, but family elders also give out red envelopes. There is a wider variety of folk activities in Taiwan for the traditional new year, and it was a lot of fun trying out decoupage for the first time.