Last Tuesday, in the high school chapel, the first annual Chinese New Year Celebration began featuring performances of traditional Chinese dance and song from our own International Students.
Imagine Christmas but supercharged. According to Bible 101 teacher, Mr. Derek Wilson, Chinese New Year puts the pomp and circumstance of US holidays to shame.
“It makes our Christmas look like Arbor Day in comparison.”
Formally called ‘Chunyun’ (chun-yoon) is the largest migration of people with over 2.99 billion (with a B) trips made during the 40-day travel season. While teaching English in a “small town” of 2-3 million people in the province of Hubei, Mr. Derek Wilson experienced this phenomenon firsthand.
“The entire country shuts down for a long time. When I lived there, my friends and I didn’t know this and we ran out of food and couldn’t get any--We ended up mooching off of other friends.”
The reverence that the Chinese people have for Chunyun is unparalleled. For the Chinese students in the International Student Program, they spend the greatest holiday away from their families, instead, they share it with their GAC, American peers, but out of context from their culture.
Fortunately, we all speak the language of food. During the chapel, Chinese and American students were paired to create the perfect dumplings. For just a sliver of a window into the excitement for the holiday, Americans were able to celebrate a small piece of the Chinese New Year with their fellow GAC students.