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SMC students ring in Chinese New Year

Alicia Smith | Friday, February 4, 2011

Saint Mary’s College rang in the Chinese New Year Thursday with a tea party, complete with paper lanterns, music and sweets.

Held in the Warner Conference Room in the Student Center, the celebration featured two different types of Chinese tea, as well as snacks ranging from candies to biscuits.

Alice Siqin Yang, assistant director of Global Education, said the tea party was held to raise awareness about the country, as well as to share information about study abroad programs.

“I think that it’s important for students nowadays to know more about Chinese history and Chinese culture and Chinese language,” she said.

During the event, students shared experiences studying abroad in China.

Senior Julie Hagopian said students should consider the benefits of studying in China.

“Just jump,” she said. “Just go. It’s one of the best. Financially it’s one of the best-priced trips. You still get three credits for it.”

Hagopian said she had fears before her trip, but she did not regret her decision.

“It’s scary going to a place that you don’t know the language,” Hagopian said. “You’re not exactly familiar with the culture or the food, but that’s the beauty of it. You just have to jump. Leave inhibitions at the door, and just go.”

Hagopian said it is important to share the Chinese culture with the Saint Mary’s community.

“General multicultural-ness is always important … to bring to the forefront that there are different cultures around the world,” she said. “Sometimes it’s not always represented as well in a beautiful, Midwestern, primarily white campus like our own, but reaching out makes it more clear that there are other cultures and they are just as vibrant as our own.”

Yang said other events pertaining to Chinese culture would be held. On Feb. 19, the College will host the event “Chinese New Year Celebration.” The event will be held in O’Laughlin Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Yang said the event will have a variety of different cultural aspects to it including song, dance and kung fu.