For Hannah Yinger, Chinese New Year means celebrating a culture that is not her own.
“Chinese New Year has always been an opportunity to see my family and friends,” Yinger, a senior studying chemical engineering said. “It’s also an opportunity to celebrate a culture that’s not mine,”
Chinese New Year follows the lunar-solar Chinese calendar and is meant to bring families together. Students at Ohio University will have the opportunity to celebrate Chinese New Year on Sunday at the Gala, hosted by the Chinese Learners Association. The event, which will feature food and performances, will begin at 3 p.m., and tickets cost $10.
Yinger’s parents met her godfather, who is from Hong Kong, in college.
“(My parents) were exposed to a lot of different cultures in college,” Yinger said.
Yinger’s birthday also falls on Chinese New Year. Because she will be an announcer at the Chinese New Year Gala so she is postponing her family celebration.
Yue Dong, a graduate student studying Chinese will also be attending the gala on Sunday. Before the gala, she plans on having dinner with her Chinese friends.
Dong said that there was a big difference for celebrating Chinese New Year in the United States than in China.
“When I was in China, this should be the time that all family members go back to my grandma's home and have dinner together,” Dong said in an email.
She also said that in China, the new year is more about family rather than partying with friends.
“Here, it's just a party with other Chinese students,” Dong said in an email.
Both Yinger and Dong participate in a Chinese New Year tradition of receiving pocket change in a red envelope. The red envelopes are supposed to represent good luck in the new year and the money is supposed to represent good times to come.
“We tried one year to do the red envelope but my parents weren’t exactly sure how it worked,” Yinger said.
Dong said that because she is not home in China, the tradition might go a bit differently.
“Now since I'm away from home, my parents will probably just take a picture of my red envelope and spend the money themselves,” Dong said in an email.
Henry Bauer, a freshman studying global studies, will also be working during the Gala. He will MC and perform two traditional Chinese songs with his classmates.
“It was the first language that I studied with an interest in high school and I felt like the culture was so interesting and unique,” Bauer said about his mandarin-Chinese language studies.
Yinger does not plan on celebrating on her own other than going to the gala on Sunday.
“It’s more kind of a family thing so I probably won’t do much. I might go online and watch some of the performances that are streamed,” Yinger said.