More than 200 international students gather at the Chinese Language
Center (CLC) of National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), southern Taiwan,
during the lunch time today for a spring gala, celebrating the coming
Chinese New Year.
As the year of the Horse coming around the corner, the foreign students
at CLC make dumplings and write red couplets to experience the
preparation for the coming Spring Festival, which falls on Jan 31 this
"The center has fostered cultural understanding through this fun and
educational event," according to NCKU CLC Director Rong-Fu Wu who added
that a spring couplet is a pair of lines of poetry expressing happy and
hopeful thoughts for the coming year.
He said, "We have arranged Chinesedumpling making, Chinese calligraphy
writing for international students to understand and appreciate the
celebration of Chinese New Year and at the same time offer opportunities
for them to practice the language."
Ruppert Christine from Germany appreciates the red couplets as an
important decoration during Chinese Lunar New Year. Holding up the
Chinese characters she wrote with brush, Ruppert said that she finds the
double meanings of Spring and Blessing when the character is posted
upside down quite interesting.
"Getting chance to write calligraphy is fun," said Harmony Shou-Ann Lu
from the United Sates who wrote her couplet to express her wishes for a
powerful Horse year.
Harmony said that she grew up in the US and she never celebrated the
Chinese New Year before even though her father is a Taiwanese. She comes
to NCKU to study Chinese partly because she'd like to find her roots in
Taiwan and understand the culture and the people here as well.
"Making dumpling is a lot of fun," added Ruppert who tried dumplings
before when she was in Germany with her friends from Taiwan. "I'd like
to try some more later."
An Italian student Mauro Trapani who appreciates Asian culture a lot and
chooses Taiwan as the starting place for his studying Mandarin Chinese
said, "People in Taiwan are so friendly and the food is so great that I
may stay longer if my studying improves as I expected."
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