Chinese honor new year on their own

Yang Chen, Managing Editor

Last Saturday was Chinese New Year, and Pitt-Johnstown community members celebrated it.

Renee Brown, Pitt-Johnstown international director, said a survey of international students was conducted asking about plans about lunar new year.

“Originally, the idea was to celebrate Chinese New Year on Jan. 25 (Saturday) with games, food from Lychee restaurant, and stream CCTV network over the projector, but, unfortunately, we were unable to do so due to some unforeseen events. 

“After speaking with Professor (Kim) Douglas, we decided to send out a survey to our international population and provide three options: 

“The First option: Games plus karaoke with food night while streaming CCTV network over the projector in the Cambria Room on Jan. 25.

“The Second option: Eat a Sodexo Chinese New Year-themed lunch Jan. 24 and bowl and the third Option: I plan to do my own thing, so I will not participate in either event.

“To my surprise, a lot of people chose option 2 and 3 (in fact there was a tie). The students preferred to celebrate Chinese New year today (Friday) and wanted to go bowling OR they wanted to do their own thing with their friends in different cities. 

According to Brown, there were only three students signed up for the celebrations, and she canceled the Saturday option and the bowling.

Jim Butler, the Pitt-Johnstown Sodexo manager, said they had an opportunity to speak with several Chinese students.

“We made our Chinese New Year Theme menu based on their opinions, and there are some traditional food that have never been seen on our menu before.

“We try to be as fantastic as possible and try to match as many traditions as possible. And that helps us to identify several dishes including fish, dumplings and fried sesame balls. 

“We just like students to put their thoughts to what they like to see and trying to communicate with us, so we can improve our service,” Butler said. 

Sophomore Mengling Cao, who immigrated to America when she was 8, said she won’t celebrate Chinese New Year at Pitt-Johnstown.

“I’ll go back home to stay with my family. We are probably going to stay together and watch the Chinese New Year TV show. 

According to Cao, her family didn’t typically celebrate Christmas in America, and they kept the Chinese tradition on celebrating Chinese New Year.

“We will exchange gifts within my family, but we don’t think Christmas is our new year. We celebrate Chinese New Year more formally, and I’ll ask my family for pocket money during Chinese New Year,” Cao said.