Exhausted from their afternoon sports or activities, Webb students from all grade levels rushed down Gym Hill and crowded around the Crossroads in time for the Lunar New Year celebration. On Monday evening, January 28th, Romana Quick, ISP Coordinator, and ISL members helped set up a boba truck and dumpling station to celebrate the 2020 Lunar New Year. Excited for the boba truck and free dumpling samples, staggered clumps of students patiently waited in line. They chatted with friends or faculty and wished each other a happy new year.
Lunar New Year varies every year, falling between January 21 and February 20, and is determined by the Lunar Calendar. This year, the year of the rat, Lunar New Year was on Saturday, January 25th. Traditional New Year celebrations include eating dumplings and rice balls, making a family reunion dinner, or for some students, watching the CCTV New Year’s Gala.
The International Student Liaisons, alongside Mrs. Quick, host many cultural events since Webb includes 21% international students in the community from 15 different countries. The Lunar New Year celebration welcomed both day and boarding students and worked to create an inclusive and lively atmosphere for the participating students, giving them a break on a Monday afternoon.
“The ISLs and I have been hosting annual Lunar New Year celebrations for more than five years,” Mrs. Quick said. “The initial goal was to showcase delicious dumpling and boba samples to Webb, and over the years, it evolved to an informal get-together for many students. ”
“The goal of this event was to foster a sense of community among international and domestic students while introducing the rich, diverse culture at Webb to a larger group of audience,” said Alice Hou (‘20), Head of the ISP. “Personally, celebrating the Lunar New Year has always been one of the most important events of every year, so I’m glad to see other students enjoying this day as much as I do.”
The boba truck had many flavors, including milk tea, taro, and passion fruit tea. The countless cups of boba seemed to fly off the tables and straight into grateful students’ hands. The line for boba stretched all the way from the Crossroads to North Hutch dorm as students were eager for a refreshing cup after a long, tiring winter day.
Then, the ISLs brought out three boxes of free dumpling samples ordered from Upper House, giving many students a taste of the delicious traditional Chinese food.
“I think that the many Lunar New Year celebrations at Webb, such as tasting dumplings or watching dragon dance, create a really festive holiday atmosphere here,” Roy Zhang (‘22) said. “I really appreciate all the work done by ISL and Webb faculty for making international students feel at home, especially on this day that I usually get very nostalgic.”
Overall, enjoying the tasty boba and dumplings made this year’s ISP Lunar New Year celebration an unforgettable night for both domestic and international students; it sparked nostalgia among international students through the traditional customs that were brought to campus.