Many Foundation Studies students celebrate Chinese New Year, and here, three students share how they celebrate in Melbourne.
I normally spend the festival with my family. We usually have a reunion dinner together on New Year’s Eve and set off fireworks and firecrackers during the countdown.
I made dumplings with some other Chinese classmates in the apartment; it was very festive. Another special thing I did to celebrate Lunar New Year was to go to Chinatown for the countdown event and watched a lion dance performance. Of course, I also received red envelops from my family on WeChat :)
Melbourne is a diverse city. There are many Chinese elements here as well, including tons of popular Chinese restaurants in the city.
I think my favourite thing about Melbourne is its dynamic urban culture. The streets are always covered with lights and decorations. There are also many grand art galleries and libraries around the city. Also, Melbourne has the prettiest beach with the prettiest sunrise and sunset.
On New Year’s Eve, my grandparents will prepare lots of traditional dishes to celebrate New Year. Apart from that, I enjoy having New Year’s Eve dinner with my family and relatives, which provides opportunities to interact with relatives I haven’t talked to for a long time. It’s also fantastic to watch the CCTV New Year Gala with family members.
I celebrated it with my homestay hosts and my roommate. My homestay hosts are very friendly, considerate and warm. They suggested that I could teach them how to make Chinese dumplings, so we had Chinese dumplings for dinner.
Food – My homestay hosts usually make Chinese food to take care of my mood (homesickness!).
People – As I said, my homestay hosts are so kind, therefore l love them so much. They will buy some small gifts for my roommates and me sometimes. In addition, they will make a birthday cake to celebrate my birthday and sing a birthday song for me. They did lots of warm things, so they remind me of my family. I appreciate it and feel grateful to them.
It provides me with an opportunity to get to know my homestay hosts, whose kindness impress me so much.
There are usually family gatherings – having a big, special dinner on New Year’s Eve. We used to set up firecrackers and fireworks, but nowadays most of them are electronic for the sake of environment. Some of us go travelling during the days that follow, or we go visit relatives and catch up.
I went out with my friend to Chinatown to have hot pot and had a long call with my family.
When I got off the train station at Hawthorn, there were small delis and cafes on each side of the road where many high school students went for a break. I remember getting off the subway and ran into a new little place where small, old cafes live in harmony with modern buildings, like in Shanghai.
I love how free and chilled out this city is. You will never feel too much pressure. And even if you do feel like your life is kind of falling apart, there will always be surprises along the quiet streets you take a walk in. Perhaps a good cup of coffee, a delicate meal, a “Good day, mate!” from a random guy on the street… And always remember to look up – because the sky is too gorgeous to be missed.