Science - January 29, 2004

Chinese welcome year of the monkey

Last week on 21 January, the Chinese community in Wageningen celebrated their New Year at Unitas, with a party organised jointly by Unitas and ISO-W. Although the party was open to everybody, most of those attending were Chinese, as was most of the programme.

About 150 guests watched a show that included Chinese dance, singers, a sketch, salsa, Greek dance and a fashion show. The latter was most impressive, as six women in traditional Qi pao dresses moved slowly and stylishly crossed the stage. The male part of the crowd was particularly enthusiastic, especially as the models threw off their scarves and took the roses out of their hair and threw them into the audience. “It symbolises the traditional throwing away of a ball that was customary in higher circles when a woman had to choose a husband,” explained Zhang Pei, herself wearing a beautiful white dress with red flowers.

For many students, it was the first time that they had celebrated the Spring Festival abroad. First-year MSc students Cao Jia and Lu Lei missed the traditional food most. “Everybody is very friendly here, that’s not the problem. But it’s a family occasion,” said Cao Jia. | Yvonne de Hilster

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