On Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 3:30 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom, the Longwood and Farmville community got the chance to experience Chinese New Year, or the Year of the Horse, with the foreign exchange teachers from China. The event was sponsored by the Office of International Affairs and gave the teachers a chance to share their culture with their new community.
Richard Paul Phillips, interim director of English as a Second Language Program, introduced the women by saying, “So as we have been giving to them, these Chinese ladies are going to give back to us.”
With more than 75 people in attendance, the group decorated the ballroom with wall decorations and lanterns, while also playing Chinese music and wearing traditional Chinese costumes.
With 10 acts for the celebration, each act had an introduction
that informed the audience about an aspect of Chinese culture. The program acts varied from an example of Tai Chi, to singing, to showing Chinese paintings and calligraphy.
The women began the show by displaying to the audience an example of what the Chinese New Year would be like in China by giving a small presentation and acting out the celebration.
During the different acts, the women would use various props such as fans, banners and even their costumes to explain their culture to the audience.
The event was also very interactive for people in the audience. It featured a game in which students won Chinese paper cuts and also gave people a chance to talk in Chinese in order to receive Chinese bookmarks.
The most memorable part of the event had to be every time the women would share their love for Longwood University. This was shown by various songs that were sung and by having some of the women share their gratitude personally. One way in which they did this was, when demonstrating Kung Fu, all the women wore shirts with Elwood Lancer on the front.
After singing a part of her song, one of the Chinese women said, “This song is about a man who fell in love with a small town at first sight. So, he wrote this song to deliver his special love to the small town, just like we love Farmville very much.”
They ended the event by singing one last song to their audience and then thanking them for a warm welcome to Farmville.
The audience felt the overwhelming positivity from the women, and sophomore Hadiyah Saleem stated, “They were so nice, and their performances were so good. I could feel like they really care about Longwood and are enjoying their time here.”
Last semester, Longwood welcomed 20 English teachers from southern China to help them to develop teaching skills to better teach their Chinese students English. With this being their first New Year away from home, they wanted to do something special to celebrate the holiday.