Students Celebrate "A Taste of Chinese New Year"

by Josiah Clemons, Public Relations Writer

It‘s the Year of the Horse. On January 30, the Chinese New Year’s Eve, Cedarville international students, faculty and staff celebrated with “A Taste of Chinese New Year” event. The occasion featured homemade Asian food, relaxing interaction between faculty and students and the opportunity to recognize the school’s international student population and International Students office. The event was created to allow international faculty and students to connect with one another as well as develop a pleasant atmosphere for international students who attend Cedarville University

The event was hosted by Brenda Reid, coordinator of international student services and Catherine Hernandez, Cedarville’s multicultural admissions specialist. “One of the values of this event was helping our international students feel at home,” said Reid. About 60 international, third culture and missionary students and staff participated in the celebration of Asian culture.

The big hit at the festivity was the mouthwatering array of food. Mochi, a starchy, chewy treat similar to Turkish delight, and jiaozi, or pork-stuffed dumplings, were some of the most-popular dishes, taking several days of preparation. Students and staff worked side by side to create these delicacies, producing an impressive arrangement of Asian-themed cuisine. Additional treats included tangerines (a symbol of good fortune), red bean soup and jasmine tea. 

“There’s so much that we can appreciate that these students bring with them,” said Reid. “For Asian students, the Chinese New Year, the Lunar New Year, is as big to them as Christmas is to us.”

Seeing international students coming together to celebrate what makes their heritage special is fascinating to Reid. “I think that when you acknowledge the unique culture that the students are bringing with them to campus and celebrate that culture, it helps broaden our understanding of the world and how to reach others for Christ,” she said.

The two staff members already have more events planned within the next two months. Later in February, Hernandez is hosting a Hispanic night for students of Spanish, Caribbean or South American heritage. The event will include Latino food, salsa dancing and a celebration of Hispanic culture. Additionally, Reid hopes to sponsor an Indian culture celebration in March with the theme “holi,” a celebration of good over evil. 

Although the Chinese and Hispanic events are focused mainly on students uniquely belonging to that culture, the Indian night will likely include anyone who wishes to celebrate the unique aspects of that culture. Reid says that planning the events has encouraged her to view the world in a different light. “I think that it makes us a richer, more complex campus when we incorporate and celebrate different cultures,” she said. “You see how God works in other cultures and other people.”

Cedarville University, located east of Dayton, Ohio, has 3,459 students in more than 100 areas of study. A Baptist university of arts, sciences, professional and graduate programs, Cedarville is recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at