周六早晨, MIEF春节组委会的一支采购小分队（Zoe, Janice, Shaoyu）早早出发到弗吉尼亚的中国超市进行采购，买了春节派对所需要的食物和装饰品，同时另一支小队（Dongxiao, Roseann）前往Costco购买餐具和饮料。春节派对的场地选在了距离校园只有几分钟的drake公寓顶层的活动室，从下午开始，MIEF中国厨神们就开始各显神通，Dayuan, Diliu带着几个小伙伴包了几百个饺子，烧烤大师Ni独当一面串了一下午秘制羊肉串，与此同时我们的甜品女王Yizi在另一边烘培着精致甜美的糕点。
派对7点开始，所有来宾都穿着象征好运的红色，和中国使馆赞助的灯笼及春联遥相呼应。春节组委会的小伙伴们为大家准备了各式各样的美食，从传统的饺子，到饱受欢迎的火锅，烤串儿，芋圆，椰蓉酥，让身处美国的我们也可以品尝到地道的中国美食。大家在红红火火的氛围中畅所欲言的聊着共同经历的点点滴滴，曾经一起奋斗过无数个日日夜夜的Monte Carlo，一起吐槽过的FDM作业，一起挑战的户外冒险Go Ape，都是最最宝贵的回忆。
On February 6, 2016, the MIEF class celebrated the Lunar New Year festival, ushering in the Year of the Monkey (earlier in the year, the students WENT APE). The event was organized and hosted by our Chinese classmates, and it provided a fantastic platform to bond and take time out from our otherwise hectic MIEF schedules. It also provided a great opportunity to better understand the fascinating Chinese culture from several diverse points of view, through experiencing the traditional customs associated with CNY.
Preparation for this event started several weeks prior to the actual day. The dedicated team came to be known as the ‘Spring Festival Committee’ (on WeChat, Whatsapp, and every other form of social media), and was committed to making the event a success – this meant dividing responsibilities (as economists at heart, they truly believed in the virtues of division of labor!)
At 9 am on the day of the event, Janice, Zoe and Shaoyu made a trip to the Asian market in Virginia to buy ingredients and raw materials for the evening. Soon after that, the organizing team convened to make dumplings, meat skewers, and prepare food for an evening ‘hotpot’ gathering. They also decorated the venue with red banners – the theme of the evening was red, since the color red, in traditional Chinese culture, represents luck and prosperity.
The results of these efforts were simply outstanding, to say the least. Firstly, everyone enjoyed fresh food, which was being made on demand. As an ardent dumpling-lover and staunch proponent of Chinese food, the endless supply of food was an absolute dream for me!
Words cannot do justice to the sheer variety and quality of food that we enjoyed that day – so maybe a few pictures can do the trick:
Moreover, keeping the food aside, (although it is so difficult because the food was FABULOUS), we also enjoyed spending time with each other outside of class, in a relaxed, festive setting.
All in all, it was a truly memorable experience for the entire class. Of course, this event could not have been made possible without the tireless and dedicated efforts of the Spring Festival Committee – comprising of Janice, Zoe, Shaoyu, Dayuan, Diliu, Ni, Jeremy, Dongxiao, Yizi, Yiran, Jinghan, Crystal, Sibo, Roseann, Candace, William, and Zixuan. A big thank you also goes out to Kelley, our superwoman, for providing funding to make this happen. THANK YOU GUYS, for what was an absolutely fantastic evening!
As we usher in the new year, it is a good time to reflect on what we have all accomplished in this program so far, and how much we have yet to achieve. Here’s hoping that the next few months yield as much promise as the last few months have. Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Janice, Sam, and Yiran