Year of the Rat celebrated with food, dance at North

by | Jan 30, 2020 | Campus News, News, North

Beatriz Balderrama Baleeiro, News Reporter

The Year of the Rat was ushered in at Humber North campus with free Chinese food, dance, music, traditional Chinese games and prizes.

“We are all family, so when we have the New Year going on, we always try to get together and show people our rich culture and share our happiness with everybody else,” Na Liang, vice-president of the Chinese Association of Mississauga said.

The event was organized by the Humber Chinese Student Association, an IGNITE club founded in 2012 for Chinese students to make friends, have fun and get academic help from one another. All of the students are welcome to join the club, even if they are not Chinese.

Women perform a 5,000-year-old traditional Chinese dance. (Beatriz Balderrama Baleeiro)

“We created the events to celebrate the Lunar New Year not only for the Chinese students but for all of the Humber community,” said Jason Tian, president of the Humber Chinese students Association.

“We provided free Chinese food, games and dance performances. Our partner, the traditional Chinese medicine program joined us to help organize the event.”

Attendees were encouraged to bring their own water bottle and a lunch box for food to encourage environmental sustainability.

The Chinese New Year carries more than 4,000 years of traditions. In 2020 the Chinese New Year starts on Jan. 25 and ends Feb. 8.

In Chinese astrology, each year is named after an animal, and a person born in that year takes some of that animal’s characteristics, and 2020 is the Year of the Rat.

During the event students had the opportunity to understand more about the culture by visiting the Chinese medicine stand, learning about its benefits and watching dance performances with Taiwanese dancers wearing traditional costumes.

“Humber is a global community and we are fortunate to have people from all over the world,” said Andrew Ness, Dean of International. “We live in a city where over half the people here were born outside of Canada, so a celebration, like this is a really good representative of the kind of open culture that we have in the city and in the country.”

“We have students from 130 countries, and even within a country as large as India or China, there are significant regional differences,” he said.

Ness said the college encourages international students or groups to celebrate a significant event.