Brunel University rings in the Year of the Rat

By Ariana Abawe

The celebration of the Lunar New Year began early at Brunel University with a sold-out event

A collaboration between the Chinese, Filipino, Korean, K-pop, Thai, Nepalese, and many more societies led to a celebratory event of the Lunar New Year – an event which sold out 250 tickets. The event had live performances from singing to traditional dancing such as ‘Tinkling’, a traditional Philippine folk dance that involves two people tapping and sliding bamboo poles on the ground with dancers who step over and in between the poles. 

Julie Thuy Dang, the External Officer of the Brunel ABACUS (Association of British and Chinese University Students) society said: “We brought a two-hour show of entertaining performances. All attendees also received a lucky bag of Asian snacks.”

An attendee of the event, Hanna Abu Bakar, 22, studying Journalism, said: “The event was very lively, and it was something else because there were different societies that came to support the event such as the Brunel Malaysian society.” 

This year, the first day of Chinese New Year falls on January 25. The festival is celebrated worldwide in regions and countries with significant Chinese populations, such as Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. 

There are twelve Chinese zodiac animals and 2020 is the year of the Rat. It is said that people born in the year of the Rat like saving and collecting, they never have hard times financially and live organised lives. 

Zodiac signs play a vital role in Chinese culture and are used to determine each individual’s fortune for the year in relation to things such as marriage and career. Traditionally the festivities begin with a thorough cleaning of the home, putting up decorations, eating dinner with family on New Year’s Eve, and giving red envelopes and other gifts. 

Isabel Park, 23, studying Life Sciences, said: “I am from Korea and Lunar New Year is about seeing family and spending time together.” 

She added that Korean people carry out the act of filial piety called ‘Sebae’, where children bow to their elders and say something along the lines of, ‘Please have a lot of fortune for the New Year’ and are rewarded with money.

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