To highlight diversity and raise awareness of Lunar New Year, Cal Poly Pomona’s Global Education Institute at the College of Professional and Global Education hosted an event marking the importance of the celebration.
Attended by CPP international students and scholars, the Feb. 1 event at the Bronco Student Center featured a banquet of Chinese food dishes, cultural exchange activities, as well as games and prizes.
Lisa Xue, director of Global Education Institute, acted as the MC of the event, which also featured speeches from student and scholar representatives, as well as distinguished guests.
President Soraya M. Coley attended the event and recognized that the Lunar New Year celebration’s purpose was to promote diversity and enhance culture awareness. She thanked international students for selecting Cal Poly Pomona as their study destination and international scholars for choosing the university for their research.
“We would like to learn from you and learn more about you,” she said. “At the same time, I hope you could also learn from others and enhance your cross-cultural knowledge and awareness.”
Lunar New Year, also called Spring Festival, is the most important and widely celebrated festival in China and some other Asian countries. The year of 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit on the lunar calendar, which began on Jan. 22.
In Chinese and other Asian cultures, the rabbit symbolizes harmony, peace, prosperity, and hope. Some of the cultural traditions of the new year include giving red envelopes with money to single people, watching lion dances, and participating in the Lantern Festival, which marks the end of the new year celebration on the 15th day.
At the event, Richard Navarro, interim dean of the College of Professional and Global Education, reiterated that the institute serves as a central hub to support the university’s international programs and global engagement.
“I would like to recognize Global Education Institute and International Center for their collaborative efforts in orchestrating this event,” he said.
International student and scholar representatives also presented remarks.
Anh Nguyen, a Vietnamese native who is in her second semester in the graduate business analytics program, said that in the beginning, she didn’t know how to study effectively and manage her time.
“I would like to thank all my professors because they were very nice and helpful,” she said, adding that her experience so far has made her a more mature and well-rounded graduate student.
Anmar Abdulmajeed spoke about his experience as an international student from Saudi Arabia.
“I have always been afraid to talk with people and give a speech especially in English since English is not my first language,” he said.
He added that what he learned in CPELI is not just useful in university classes, but the program also taught him many things that are useful outside the classroom.