Saturday, February 05, 2011

Chinese New Year

There is a large push to try to get the Chinese students to integrate with others in the student village. To this end a Chinese new years party was thrown, only no Chinese students wanted to help plan it so we had to drag some along. The first thing that is a big tradition is making dumplings. With Chinese students supervising, I took two huge cleavers and chopped leaks on a large plate. Everything seemed to need to be minced with the cleavers, even the ground pork. once it was all mixed chopsticks were used to put a small blob into a dough wrapper which was then sealed up with a wet finger.
We then turned to decorating. With a watchful with someone who could read all the decorations were hung with the writing pointing the right way. But it was so windy that the tent broke one of its main supports. Extra ropes were added to tie down the tent but all the lanterns swaying back and forth made me feel more like I was on a ship.
Chinese beer was supplied for the party so that all the British students wouldn't complain, and they had planned karaoke but the screen didn't work so to sing to the music people would search on their iPhone as soon as the song started to pull up the lyrics. I would have tried to sing along but without the phonetic help for the Chinese characters I was at a loss.
One thing that was cool was that they had hired a dance group to a traditional Lion Dance (think dragon looking thing) complete with drummer and extra sets of legs so about every minute or so the lion would switch dancers holding it so it could keep up the crazy pace without anyone getting tired. The climax was the lion eating a cabbage hanging from the top of the tent then spitting out over the crowd. Apparently since I was showed in ripped up lettuce I will have good luck.
Of course it was important for everyone to wear red to the party but the only thing I had was the undersized t-shirt I wore under my ripped up Halloween costume. I wore a cardigan over it so it looked fine but at the end of the night they wanted a picture with everyone in red so I took off the cardigan. With the tight shirt and my arm around the guy next to me everyone said my pose looked like me (and the guy on the other side of the group picture) were both doing modeling poses. (followed up by plenty of references to Zoolander.

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