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0 January 31, 2017

It’s the year of the Rooster?

January 27, 2017


Xīn nián kuài lè!

Saturday, January 28th was Chinese New Year and it’s the year of the Rooster. How do I know this? Well, the simple answer would be the Internet or my calendar, but that’s not how I know. Allow me to explain.

During the 2015-2016 school year I had the privilege of being a friend to an international student here at West Georgia. I responded to an email about showing an international student around campus and helping them get used to culture in the United States. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Well, why not?” So I filled out a form of my interests and hoped that I would get paired up with someone. A few months later, I was given a name, email, and country (China) of the student I had been paired with. Immediately, I sent the girl an email introducing myself and expressing how excited I was to meet her. We talked for a bit and she gave me a Chinese name because I wanted her to give me one. Not that I forced her, it was just that she got to pick a name that people in the US could actually pronounce and I had just wanted a Chinese name. So, fast-forwarding…

Throughout the school year, we taught each other many things. In China, they really like Justin Beiber, and they know a little bit about the Cup Song by Anna Kendrick. Popular Culture takes some time getting over to China, you know. I was able to teach my buddy how to do the moves from the music video to the song itself and she loved it. I was also able to introduce her to barbecue, bacon, and chicken pizza (the best pizza), while she showed me what REAL Chinese food was. She absolutely loved that pizza. Fast-forwarding some more…

I sent her a text the other day and she told me that Chinese New Year was coming up. With me being the super-obsessed-with-other-countries-and-cultures person that I am, I asked her to send pictures of all the festivities. They light firecrackers and have their own traditions as a united people, unlike we do in the United States. Families here have their own individual traditions, but in China, it’s all about family and the color red. They get together with their families and have a “reunion dinner” on New Year’s Eve. Other traditions include: giving cyber money, giving red envelopes, getting new clothes, IM greetings, putting up decorations, and watching CCTV Gala. Decorations are called “Red Lucky Items.” Couplets are placed on doorframes, like the one you see in my photo. There are also red lanterns hung up in the streets, red paper cuttings, and upside-down Fu characters among other decorations. It’s like Christmas and New Year mixed into one holiday for us.

Someday, I plan on visiting my buddy and her family in China and celebrating with them, but for now I live vicariously through her photos and videos. Maybe I’ll take some barbeque, bacon, and chicken pizza with me!

If you know someone from China, wish them luck this Rooster Year!


Jínián jíxiáng!

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