Chinese New Year 2016

Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival, is a celebration which has more than 4,000 years of history. It is the grandest and most important annual event for Chinese people. The 6th of February 2016, was a very special day for many boarding students. A day worth celebrating, not only for the Chinese but also for the Bhutanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and many other Asian countries. 

This traditional festivals is a time for families to reunite together, similiar to Christmas Day in western culture. The Year 2016 is the 4713th Chinese year and the year of Monkey. The monkey is the symbol of wisdom, courage and quick-witted fun for Chinese. This spirit was well presented by the activities held last Friday and Saturday evenings. 

All the Chinese boarders went to a local Chinese hotpot restaurant called the Sauna Hot-pot on Friday. They enjoyed a marvelous evening of nostalgic Chinese tastes – a mixed-flavor soup of spicy chilies and fragrant herbs in the boiling pot to cook up meat and vegetables alongside a steamer to heat up dim sums and seafood. Though this classical way of cooking requires patience and some skills, the boarders were very excited and happy to spend Chinese New Year’s Eve enjoying memories of home. While they were chatting and joking about their lives and studies of the past year, we could imagine how similar this is for them with their families back home. Far away from home and parents, our students have achieved so much in different aspects of life, giving help and support they come together to celebrate this common cultural tradition. Although they miss their families at home, they can feel and share the warmth of friendship enhanced by the hotpot food.

On Saturday evening, many Chinese, Thai and Bhutanese boarders came together to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Supported by Ajarn Jun, Ajarn Qi, Ajarn Jurme and some Chinese parents many delicious Chinese dumplings and Bhutanese Momos were made in the Cooking Academy. It was an amazing team-building occasion. Students were rinsing and cleaning vegetables, mincing and stirring up the fillings, hand-making the dumpling wrappings and shaping the dumplings to the final stage of the process. Each stage is important for students to learn. Each stage requires teamwork built on communication and support. Each stage is a short scene of their cultural review to synchronize their feelings about home and family. Yet, each stage is also a testimony to show their independent cultural uniqueness integrated with Prem’s internationality. Unintentionally, we made so many dumplings with different flavors – cheese and onion, beef and pumpkin, pork and vegetable – professionally designed or prematurely made? There are also so many controversies about what’s the best way to cook them: Steaming? Boiling? Or frying? Oppose! Many eagerly awaiting students quickly made all the dumplings disappear. They didn’t even wait for them to cool down because they are so delicious!

Thank you all for joining us for celebrating these two wonderful evenings together. Virginia Woolf once put, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Well, we believe this has been achieved by the wonderful events and celebrations, Happy New Year!

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