Lobachevsky University celebrates Chinese New Year with Russian songs
On 9 February, Lobachevsky University hosted the Orient Express festival to celebrate the Chinese New Year. A rich programme was prepared for the guests of the event: musical performances, master classes, and a video presentation. Also everyone could take part in a traditional tea ceremony. The festival brought together UNN students from different countries. It was organised by the UNN International Club of Students.
Alexander Bedny, UNN Vice-Rector for International Affairs and Networking, addressed the audience with a welcoming speech:
"There is a wonderful tradition at Lobachevsky University: our truly large international community celebrates the holidays of different nations of the world. Today, at the Fundamental Library of our University, an intellectual centre where the sources of knowledge - books - are concentrated, we have a wonderful opportunity to congratulate each other on the coming Oriental New Year. This is a holiday that is celebrated not only in China, but in many other Asian countries and, in fact, all over the world. Therefore, I would like to thank all the guests, concert participants and organisers for the opportunity not only to usher in the New Year once again, but also to join the traditions of celebrating it in the Eastern style".
Musical numbers at the concert were performed by international students of Lobachevsky University and the Glinka Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory. Students from China sang some famous Russian songs including the "Troika" in Russian.
A master class in calligraphy for students was given by Daria Merkulova, Assistant of the Department of Oriental Languages and Linguocultural Studies, who teaches the Chinese language at the UNN Institute of International Relations and World History:
"Chinese New Year is first and foremost a family celebration. All Chinese people are very fond of getting together, visiting, giving each other fruit baskets and cards with money. It is believed that on such great holidays one should give fruit as a present and a wish of longevity, health and joy. Also on these days, it is a tradition to launch kites and lanterns. During the launching one usually makes wishes. It is believed that if the lantern flies far away, the wish will definitely come true. Our cultures have a lot in common: traditional family values, continuity of generations. This is what unites us and allows us to find a common language quite easily."
Chinese New Year is the most important holiday for the people of China and has been celebrated for over two thousand years. It occurs on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Usually this date falls between 21 January and 19 February.