National Dong Hwa University Chinese Language Center 2019 Chinese Calligraphy and Winter Solstice Celebration and Christmas Eve Gift Exchange
Chinese Language Center - National Dong Hwa University, held a couple of cultural activities in December, all for International students in campus. One of the activities aimed to gather together to celebrate Winter Solstice and at the same time experience Chinese calligraphy. On Christmas Eve, a Gift exchange and Christmas celebration took place at CLC. All the students who had the opportunity to join us had an unforgettable Christmas Eve by joining the games arranged for the participants.
The winter solstice is an important day for Taiwanese people and is exactly the season to knead dumplings, taste dumplings, and to ask for success in every field. On this day the sunlight hits the tropic of cancer directly, and the northern half of our planet has the shortest daylight with the longest night. In order to let foreign students to immerse into local life, the Chinese Language Center specially arranged a winter solstice activity so that foreign students can participate in the How-to of dumplings in the cold winter. Students had the opportunity to learn about the festival culture and customs in Taiwan, enjoying dumplings, listening to winter solstice stories. In order to make the program more exciting on that day, Vice Chairman of Donghua University Liao Qinghua was invited to conduct teaching activities such as Chinese calligraphy and painting Chinese lanterns and folding fan.
During the activity, the students did really enjoy making rice balls together. While adding water, they mixed the glutinous rice flour while kneading, and after that, they all used red glutinous rice balls to form up the phrase： DongHua University NDHU to show their love for the school. An International student （from Vietnam） who attended this activity, said that they also have dumplings in Vietnam, but they are all sweet, the way is made and filled is quite different from the one in Taiwan. In Vietnam, mung bean is most of the time put it into the Glutinous rice balls. In this occasion, CLC also wanted to let international students to try a special way to prepare Rice balls： salty glutinous rice balls.
While doing calligraphy and lantern painting, limitless creativity was displayed on every student’s work. Chinese characters and letters from the alphabet were combined to form the final phrase by using a very unique and special modern style. Through the activities held during our Winter solstice and Chinese calligraphy experience activity, international students now have a better understanding of： The lunar calendar and Chinese Zodiac. The surprise came at the end when students wrote on their Chinese lanterns and/or folding fan：”鼠年行大運”which means ”The year of the rat is the lucky year” （all students based on their zodiac animal）. They were all really proud of the work they have just done successfully, so much so that they were willing and happy to share it with CLC.
All the students who had the opportunity to join us for Winter solstice celebration, really did experience a small part of our culture, of Taiwan. We love the concept of sharing and exchanging, for that reason CLC decided to hold a Gift exchange for Christmas Eve, a little bit out of what we are use to. CLC added one extra exciting gift exchange. Every attendant were requested to prepare a good gift, one that you would like to get from any friend but also a second gift, the kind of gift nobody would like to get. The priority of choosing gifts is determined by the score of the fun games arranged for that lovely gathering.
On the day of the Christmas Eve - Gifts exchange, the teams hurriedly flipped the cups, picked up the cups, and sipped their sodas, everything so they all can get priority in picking gifts. International students who attended this activity said that the gift exchange activities in Taiwan were very interesting and completely new for them, because generally in their country, when they received Christmas gifts, children are always looking forward to it （since in the end they only get ”good” gifts）, it was an unforgettable experience.
Pei Sheng from Colombia said that although he only received a stone, he could feel the giver’s intention because a stone never rot, it is a symbol of a long time/perdurable, and he will always leave it as a memorial. Pepe from Thailand received Chinese assignments as a gift and realized that learning Chinese is the best gift she could get. Of course, many people get enviable gifts. Some people did get instant noodles from different countries. It does not matter how many good gifts you got at the end, CLC aimed to letting every attendant enjoy and gather together to celebrate the arrival of Christmas.
Chinese Language Center and its staff have always had our students and campus life as priorities. At the center, every member of the staff is warm-hearted and friendly that all CLC students have expressed how nice and good it feels to be part of CLC. CLC aims to contribute to be part of every student’s learning journey by holding cultural activities to make CLC students immerse themselves into the culture and feel in love with Taiwan. Related event information can be found on Donghua University Chinese Language Center website and Facebook fan page.