The USP Lautoka staff and students got into cultural spirit as they celebrated the Chinese Spring Festival at the Campus this week.
On Wednesday, 18th February, the staff and students had the opportunity to taste the traditional Chinese dumplings that signifies good fortune.
To give a better insight into the festival, a colourful display was also held in the USP Lautoka Library throughout the week that included handouts with information on the festival.
The Spring Festival is the most important and longest festival for the Chinese people and the celebration traditionally commences from the Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 5th day of the first month.
During this period of celebration in China, it is a tradition for the Chinese to prepare luxurious meals for their dinner which they eat with their families. Dishes such as chicken, fish and bean curd, referred to as “ji”, “yu” and “doufu” in Chinese, cannot be excluded from the meal, for they mean auspiciousness, abundance and richness respectively.
Chinese Language Lecturer Guilan Chang from the Confucius Institute at USP said it is also a tradition for families to thoroughly clean the house before the festival, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck.
There was also a Question and Answer session where students were allowed to answer a maximum of three questions and they were given lucky coins for each correct attempt. This session was conducted by Chinese Language Advanced level student from Laucala Campus, Apikale Watiqera, who answered students’ queries pertaining to the Chinese Language course.
Describing her learning experience, Ms. Watiqera said it was very interesting yet quite challenging. “There were challenges in terms of getting the pronunciations right, however I had the passion for the language which kept me going on and now I can speak fluent Chinese,” she said.
USP Lautoka Campus Director Dr Pramila Devi said USP Lautoka now offers Chinese Language classes at Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced levels.
She said USP Lautoka was now planning to offer credit courses and training in Chinese cultural activities such as Chinese Dance and Chinese Tea Ceremony.