When Tangyuan Meets Cocktail: A Different Lantern Festival for Overseas Students

On the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, Chinese people always pay attention to reunion. Although the Chinese students abroad cannot go home for reunion, they will also enjoy the Lantern Festival, and there is no loneliness of “being a stranger in a foreign land”.

Yufei (pseudonym), who went to St. Andrew’s University in the UK to study for a master’s degree in 2016, was deeply moved by this. She told reporters that in the early days of enrollment, various problems were resolved with the help of Chinese seniors, and Chinese freshmen quickly got along like family members. “On weekdays, as long as we are free, we will gather in a dormitory and prepare a special dish to relieve our hunger.”

   The Lantern Festival meal was set on New Year’s Eve. The essential home-cooked tomato scrambled eggs, the difficult soy sauce chicken, the refreshing and delicious broccoli fried shrimps, the hot and spicy boiled pork slices…Eight students sat around the table and feasted. Yufei told reporters that in previous years, she only had local delicacies during the holidays at home. Now, even though she is away alone, the dishes come from all over the world. “I’m full of food and nostalgia!”

Having been in the UK for a year, Qiu Jun (pseudonym), who majored in design at the University of the Arts in London, has had a lively life. In addition to Chinese students, they also invited roommates from the United States, Russia, Egypt and other countries, and 14 people gathered together to make dumplings. Qiu Jun introduced that because of inexperience, the glutinous rice balls made by everyone are strange. “Under such circumstances, it actually tastes good in the end, we are very surprised by ourselves!”

   According to Qiu Jun, the invited foreign roommates also brought their own cocktails, which were colorful and fruity. However, because of the large number of people, the “heroic” people directly used pots to fill up four pots of wine. When drinking, they had to scoop them into the glass. Qiu Jun giggled: “There is an old saying in China, “Dumplings, the more wine you eat, the more you eat.” Our glutinous rice balls are served with cocktails. It is the Lantern Festival and the Year of the Rooster. The combination of Chinese and Western is a must!

Li Tian (pseudonym), a second-year graduate student at the University of Connecticut, also wanted to cook by herself, but the blizzard that fell from the sky on the 10th prevented her from going out to purchase ingredients and had to change her “operation plan.” She rummaged through the boxes and found the mini mahjong, and invited two Chinese classmates and a foreign roommate to start the game decently. Although mahjong is small, the fun is not diminished. From the beginning, I couldn’t distinguish between bars, cakes, and ten thousand, and then excitedly shouted “Bump, touch!”. It didn’t take long for foreign roommates to keep up with the rhythm and have a lot of fun.

   Li Tian also cooked glutinous rice balls that he bought in Asian supermarkets in advance. Outside the window, the wind was freezing cold, and the world was connected, covered in silver; the room was full of laughter, steaming, filled with the fragrance of black sesame. Li Tian said that this Lantern Festival, she had a very warm time.

   “Lab + Instant Noodles” is the whole Lantern Festival by Ke Mengnan, PhD in Electronic Engineering from the University of Tokyo, Japan. After four years in Japan, Ke Mengnan will graduate in 2018, and his experiments and research have also entered the sprint stage. Going out early and returning late every day, Ke Mengnan had no rest even on weekends, let alone how to spend the holidays. When asked if I felt hard, Ke Menang replied, “Reading a good book and doing a good job of research is the meaning of my coming to Japan to study, so instead of feeling bitter, I feel fulfilled.”

The fire tree never sleeps. The international students in various time zones considered jet lag, and invariably, they dialed the phone at home. Under the same sky, although the people at both ends of the phone are not reunited, they are full of hearts and smiles. The special Lantern Festival that belongs to the overseas students is really the phrase in Su Shi’s “Shui Tiao Ge Tou”-I hope people will last forever, and there will be a great together for thousands of miles.

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