By Uri Prescott
It is now the Year of the Pig.
The Center for International Programs at Colorado State University-Pueblo reined in the Chinese New Year with traditional food, decorations and music. The festivities started at 11 a.m. Feb. 5 in their office and lasted until 2 p.m.
“I see that a lot of international students, they stay in their groups like in the same countries, nationalities, and so this is maybe opportunity to get more in touch with other internationals and with other American students,” said Patrick Baeumle, a German international student who works in the office. In China, the new year is celebrated according to lunar cycles, hence the name Lunar New Year.
As with most celebrations, food is a major part of the Lunar New Year. The Center for International Programs had a buffet of traditional Chinese food for students to enjoy. Jennifer Franklin, a psychology major who has worked in the Center for International Programs for about three years, said, “I love Chinese food, so the food is always a big part for me.”
There were egg rolls, skewered teriyaki chicken, dumplings, various sauces and teas. Many attendees said the best part of the CSU-Pueblo Lunar New Year was the spread of food and drinks, and that it was an opportunity for them to see what food is like in the Chinese culture. “It’s my first time I saw chicken in this form,” said Francisco Earreto, another student who works in the Center for International Programs.
According to Jose Suniaga, a student working in the Center for International Programs, having inclusive celebrations on campus allows for students to learn about new cultures and international students bring a piece of their culture here to CSU-Pueblo. “It gets you closer to other cultures and I think that’s something that everyone should do.”
“It’s really inviting here, just like whenever you come it’s just nice to hang out, it’s a nice place to do homework, too,” said Juhyeok Park, a student attending the celebration. Park said he believes these celebrations on campus are a good thing. “It gets the international community involved and just brings everyone kind of together.”
According to Franklin, the Center for International Programs encourages more people to attend their events. “I think it’s really important to spread different cultures around campus because this is a very diverse part of Colorado and so we want to welcome that,” Franklin said. “Come by and celebrate with us, we often do things like this so it’s nice to spread the diversity.”