Last Wednesday, Kenilworth PHAB came to the Warwick campus to celebrate the Chinese New Year. This event was actually originally suggested by one of the PHAB members, who used to live in Malaysia when he was younger. There was a huge turnout, with over 20 PHAB members and 12 student volunteers. The room was beautifully decorated with red paper lanterns and filled with Chinese New Year songs too!
Everyone was sat around a few tables with red coloured papers and small red packets with the word 福 on them, which means luck in Chinese. There were also dumplings that were being served and everyone really liked them. Some even had second servings!
The volunteers showed the PHAB members how to make the paper lanterns. Some of the PHAB members also used their creativity to redesign their lanterns. During Chinese New Year, children will usually stroll on the streets at night with their lit up lanterns. Volunteers were also showing the members how to fold the red packet and explaining the meaning behind a红包, which means red packet. In Chinese tradition, married individuals will usually give a red packet with money to children or unmarried individuals. It symbolizes good luck and fortune.
It was really interesting to see the volunteers explaining the festive season of Chinese New Year, the symbolic meaning of red packets and how Chinese New Year is being celebrated in other countries. It was also very nice to see how interested the PHAB members were in finding out more about the tradition back in the different volunteers’ home countries.
I was also explaining the dragon dance to one of them, as he was very amazed with the colorful outfit of the dragon. The PHAB member was also asking me about the differences in language and time between the UK and other regions of the world, and it just feels really pleasant to be able to share conversations with them. It was very sweet that one of the PHAB members gave us the lantern and red packets that he had made.
Everyone had a really lovely evening, with many happy faces and laughter. It was simply touching to hear the members saying thank you to us as they left and how they have really enjoyed themselves. So, thank you so much to all the volunteers who helped out this evening. All of you have truly made the evening very enjoyable for the PHAB members!
The Kenilworth PHAB Club usually meets on Wednesdays, 7.30 to 9.45pm. Regularly, events are organised in Kenilworth, although sometimes, the PHAB members also come to campus and events take place here. The group welcomes old and new volunteers throughout term, so it’s not too late to sign up!
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