Chinese students at Ball State celebrate Lunar New Year 2021 during COVID-19 pandemic

<p>Senior journalism major Zi Wang packs boxes of to-go containers from Asian Kitchen Feb. 12, 2021. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, students couldn&#x27;t gather in large groups to celebrate, so Wang individually distributed food to international students from China to celebrate Lunar New Year. <strong>Shiyi Sun, DN</strong></p>

Senior journalism major Zi Wang packs boxes of to-go containers from Asian Kitchen Feb. 12, 2021. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, students couldn't gather in large groups to celebrate, so Wang individually distributed food to international students from China to celebrate Lunar New Year. Shiyi Sun, DN

Learn more about Chinese New Year

Good luck is a common theme of New Year celebrations.

2021 is the Year of the Ox, representing patience and resilience in Chinese culture.

Source: Farmers’ Almanac

On Feb. 12, Chinese people ushered in the most important festival of the year — the Lunar New Year. This year, celebrations looked different than usual.

The Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) at Ball State held a Zoom meeting to gather Chinese students in Muncie together to celebrate the holiday virtually. CSSA also provided food and small gifts for each student who participated in the Zoom meeting. 

Jeff Zhang, Ball State computer science professor and advisor for CSSA, went to the local restaurant Asian Kitchen to pick up food for students with CSSA president and senior journalism major Zi Wang.

Computer science professor Jeff Zhang orders food from Asian Kitchen in Muncie Feb. 12, 2021. Zhang is the adviser of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), which hosted a Zoom celebration for Chinese New Year. Shiyi Sun, DN

“The food is wonderful, it is very nice to eat Chinese food [on] this day,” said Jiaying He, a senior finance major at Ball State.

Zhang and Wang couldn’t eat food with CSSA members together in a group due to coronavirus restrictions, so they individually delivered to-go boxes of food to students.

“I am glad that CSSA [found] a new way to celebrate the Chinese New Year with Chinese students even during COVID,” said Cherelle Dunn, the international program coordinator at Ball State.

Zi Wang (left) gives a to-go box of food from Asian Kitchen to Runyan Guo (right) Feb. 12, 2021. The Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) distributed food to international students to celebrate the Lunar New Year and hosted a Zoom celebration. Shiyi Sun, DN

CSSA prepared performances and games for people to enjoy over Zoom Feb. 12. 

At the end of the Zoom celebration, many students reviewed the whole year of 2020 and shared their feelings and wishes for 2021.

“2020 [was] a tough year for everyone," Wang said. "I expect 2021 can be nicer. I hope I can travel in 2021 and go to see my family."

Contact Shiyi Sun with comments at ssun5@bsu.edu.

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