Chinese New Year formal dinner at Jesus college
On Friday the 31st of January I had the chance to be invited by Chinese friends to join what would turn out to be a very enriching and enjoyable evening; celebrating the arrival of a brand-new and galloping horse year. The Oxford Chinese Association (OXCSSA) was hosting its annual Chinese New Year Eve dinner at Jesus College in the city centre.
More than the opportunity to enjoy a formal dinner in one of the most prestigious college of Oxford University, I was mostly looking forward to cease the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the Chinese culture and be part of one of the most renowned and vibrant society of Oxford. I have to admit that the evening completely matched my expectation, immerse I was indeed! After taking my first step in the porter’s lodge I found myself surrounded by a sea of Chinese students, it was just the funniest thing!
I was amazingly surprised that despite the number of members it appears as if they all know each other, just like one big family, and was even more touched when they warmly welcomed me to be part of it.
After a drink reception in the MCR, we headed towards the dinning hall for a lovely 3-course meal. Sat at the dinning table I had the opportunity to mumble my first Chinese sentences and after couple of minutes and drinks I was able to say in a flawless Chinese: 新年快乐! Note that at this very moment I was probably the only person at the table understanding what I was saying.
In addition to that I was really delighted to discuss, witness and appreciate Chinese values and traditions such as the “hongbao” and I am proud to announced that I made sure not to cut my hair or buy new shoes for a month!
As Chinese people say, it’s not about what one say but more about what one does. So I guess I don’t really need to tell you that I really enjoyed this evening with the Chinese students of Oxford, instead my actions will talk from themselves: few days after I was attending the Chinese New Year gala!
牛津中国学联2月6日讯 马年第一天，“吃遍‘津城’”系列活动“耶稣学院（Jesus College）站”在牛津大学耶稣学院宴会厅（Dining Hall）举行。牛津中国学联主席孙晓丹，学术部部长申志鹏，秘书长刘翔, 副秘书长侯艺郡出席。本次活动由牛津中国学联秘书处主办，活动得到了牛津大学耶稣学院的支持。活动吸引了牛津大学中国大陆、香港的学生、学者共42人参加。