05 March 2014
Lunar New Year at TPU
It is common knowledge that the New Year in Eastern countries is celebrated in spring. The precise date is determined according to the moon phases, therefore informally the holiday is often called “The Lunar New Year”. It has already become a tradition that employees and students of IIELC of TPU celebrate the occasion in middle February after the winter vacation when everybody gets together to commemorate the New Year with the second “international” family.
The celebration consisted of the concert and interactive part – national sitting rooms. In the first part, during the concert, the employees of IIELC and representatives of Tomsk Communities gave congratulatory speeches, whereas the masters of ceremony from Vietnam, China and Mongolia made bright presentations on the New Year celebrating traditions in each country.
Students from Vietnam represented Tet – a family holiday of spring and love. It is the time of greeting the gods of house and home that help during the year. According to the legend, each year the gods of house and home sit on carps and depart to the Heavenly Palace to tell about everything that happened in their house on earth. On the occasion of Tet, the Vietnamese write poems on red paper and put them on the doors of their houses. The red colour symbolizes an auspice and strong life force. The guests of the New Year performance enjoyed a wonderful dance and touching song of the students from Vietnam.
Students from Mongolia told that they celebrate Tsagaan Sar. The name of this holiday originates from the words “tsagaan” – meaning “white” and “sar” - meaning “moon”. It dates back to ancient national and religious traditions of Mongolians and is a symbol of regeneration of man and nature, openness and clearness of thought, and hope and good-hearted expectations. Students presented to all those present a dance and a national Mongolian song in honour of the holiday.
Students from China in their turn shared that the New Year’s Day is the most important and long-lasting holiday for them. No other holiday is so surrounded by legends and traditions. The Chinese decorate their houses with paper lanterns and wishes written by copperplate handwriting on a red paper to scare away the malign forces and attract the good and wealth. It is considered that the New Year should be necessarily met in new clothes and that everything around should be coloured in gradations of red and golden colours. The holiday must be accompanied by songs and therefore Li Shuowen sang a song titled “Sumerki”.
In Korea the Lunar New Year is also celebrated in grand manner. During several days street processions, traditional open air celebrations with costumed dancing and masked balls are held in the Country of the morning calm. Marina Ming, the instructor of the Korean vocal and dance company “Ariran” prepared a traditional Korean dance “Chango” impressing by its beauty.
For already 7 years there is a Buryat national and cultural autonomy “Geser” in Tomsk. They have always been taking an active part in life of the city and Tomsk Polytechnic University. They joined the festival with great relish and danced “Steppe love”. And the present from the Russian students was a sparkling humorous scene how a common Chinese lesson turns into a joyful dance.
The concert part of the program ended with a dance of “Afurumba” company that surprised everybody by a new international performance in which the elements of traditional Russian and African dances interwove in some fantastic manner and aroused standing ovation of the festival guests. The guys take an active part in all the events of the Institute and this time they were joined by a student from Vietnam as a drummer. Therefore it can be easily said that a festival was really international.
As for the interactive part of the event, in the national sitting-rooms one could taste a true Chinese tea made following all the rules of the tea ceremony, natural Vietnamese coffee prepared in a peculiar manner within sight of spectators, learn to play a Mongolian game “step” and take part in joyful national games.
Thanks to the organizers and participants for such a wonderful evening!