Saudi Students And Teachers Demonstrate Chinese New Year Culture

March 02 11:37 2023
The “Let’s Celebrate Chinese New Year Together” event was held recently at the Faculty of Humanities and Arts of King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia. The picture shows the event site.

The “Let’s Celebrate Chinese New Year Together” event was held recently at the Faculty of Humanities and Arts of King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia. The picture shows the event site.

At the Faculty of Humanities and Arts of King Abdulaziz University, a unique event called “Let’s Celebrate Chinese New Year Together” was held recently. A series of Chinese cultural experience activities such as writing couplets, making dumplings, sugar painting, paper cutting and learning Chinese with me attracted many teachers, students and local people.

The event was planned and organized by several students from King Abdulaziz University majoring in Chinese langauge, with Wang Suoli (Chinese name) as the leader. She said, “I saw a lot of videos of Chinese people preparing for Chinese New Year on some social media, and I thought that as Chinese language majors, we could also hold Chinese New Year activities to let Chinese students in Saudi Arabia feel the festive atmosphere and let more Saudis know about the traditional Chinese festivals. Inspired by the idea, several students and I set about organizing this activity and got support from the school and the China Culture and Arts Exchange Center.”

After the activity plan was finalized, the students overcame all the difficulties and did their best within the limited time.

At the event, red lanterns, couplets and Chinese-style decorations made people feel the strong festive atmosphere. These event supplies were not easily available in Saudi Arabia, so Wang Zhe (Chinese name), the head of procurement, asked his Chinese friends to help purchase them and send them to Jeddah. “It was a happy moment when some visitors told me that the site was so beautiful and that they hoped to go to China to experience the Chinese New Year in the future.” Wang Zhe said.

In charge of the Chinese food cooking is Lu Si (Chinese name), who hopes to have a plate of dumplings at the event. “But we had never eaten dumplings and didn’t know how to make Chinese food, so we all had to learn to make dumplings through videos. From making the dough, mixing the dumpling filling to rolling out the dumpling wrapper, it took numerous tries before we succeeded. We were especially excited when we saw visitors tasting the dumplings and expressing their wish to eat dumplings in China in the future.” Lu Si said.

Sugar painting is a folk art form prevalent in many parts of China. In order to show the sugar painting at the event, Bai Shan (Chinese name) practiced repeatedly, using sugar as ink and a spoon as a brush to draw many shapes.

Ai Sili (Chinese name) is responsible for the introduction of Chinese tea culture. “We bought green tea, black tea and other Chinese teas, and visitors not only tasted Chinese tea, but also learned about Chinese tea culture.” Ai Sili said.

In order to let visitors know Chinese characters, Zhu Nan (Chinese name) insists on practicing Chinese calligraphy every day. At the event, she not only introduced the four tools of Chinese calligraphy and demonstrated postures of holding a Chinese writing brush, but also gave Chinese names to the participants.

Another special part of this Chinese New Year event was the on-site Chinese language teaching. “We love Chinese and want to make more people understand Chinese, so we decided to teach some simple Chinese on the spot. To make the event interesting, a few students and I designed Chinese vocabulary games and made game props. We felt very proud when we heard visitors greeting each other in Chinese.” Said A Bila (Chinese name), who is in charge of the part of Chinese language teaching.

Although the Chinese New Year event came to an end, the students did not stop learning Chinese and spreading Chinese culture. The short video they made for Chinese New Year received attention on relevant social media platforms, with tens of thousands of interactions within just two days. As Sa La (Chinese name), one of the organizers of the event, said, “Such events not only improve the Saudi people’s understanding of China, but also help the cultural exchange between China and Saudi Arabia, and I look forward to continuing to participate and organize such events in the future.”

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