This Sunday, Chinese students from around the country will come to Orion to celebrate Chinese New Year. It will be the first time that Chinese student association CASSW organises the event.
Each year, the Chinese New Year is heralded with a celebration for all Chinese students in the Netherlands. This usually takes place in Rotterdam or Delft, as those are the cities where most Chinese students live. However, the board of CASSW was able to bring this year’s celebration to Wageningen. Zekun Dai, chair of the Chinese Association of Students and Scholars in Wageningen: ‘We have a large Chinese community here in Wageningen, so we believed we could organise it as well.’ CASSW worked together with the university and the national Chinese student association ACSSNL.
Around 900 guests are expected to come; mainly Wageningen students, but also students from The Hague, Delft, Eindhoven and Groningen. In the large Waaierzaal of Orion, they will have the opportunity to listen to speeches of various people, among whom will be Robin de Lange, director of the Ouwehands Dierenpark zoo in Rhenen, and Roelof Joosten of Friesland Campina. A bit like TED talks, according to Lingtong Gai, secretary of the national ACSSNL and PhD candidate in Soil Physics & Land Management. ‘The celebration is also a networking opportunity, because it is usually hard for Chinese students to get in touch with Dutch companies.’
In the afternoon, there will be dance performances, both traditional Chinese and modern, and a performance by the Wageningen music group Sweet Potato. The inner human will also be tended to: no less than 13,000 dumplings have been ordered, the traditional snack for Chinese New Year. An expansive show of fireworks and a dancing dragon, also typical for a Chinese New Year’s celebration, were also on the students’ wish list. ‘Unfortunately, the finances did not allow for this’, tells Dai.
This year, Chinese New Year is officially on 28 January. The year will be under the sign of the Rooster.