Lunar New Year Celebration

Authored by Tina Huang, MEM ’19

On Feb 10th, the Asia Student Interest Group (SIG) and the Coalition on Food and Agriculture (CAFE) co-hosted an event to celebrate Lunar New Year by making vegetable dumplings and having a community discussion on the sustainability of China’s food system. Lunar New Year is the most important celebration in many Asian societies. Just like the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, it is the time of the year that people go back home to reunite with families and friends to celebrate the arrival of a new year (2018 is the year of the dog!)

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Picture caption: Forestry and Environmental Studies (FES) students celebrate the Lunar New Year with a dumpling-making party. .

Dennis Tung prepared all the vegetable fillings for the workshop and led the dumpling making workshop. Dennis Tung is a first year MEM student interested in sustainable food systems. Before FES, he lived in China for 3 years, working in supply chain sustainability. He hopes to make our food systems sustainable through supply chain innovation. At the dumpling workshop, FESers also shared with each other their dumpling folding techniques and designs.  

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Picture caption: Some dumplings have are more creative shapes than the others.

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Pic caption: Dumpling making in action.

Students then enjoyed freshly cooked dumplings while having a discussion on food culture and sustainability in China, facilitated by Michelle Winglee. Winglee is a first-year M.E.Sc. student interested in sustainable agriculture. Her previous research focus was on China’s economic development and the modernization of agriculture in China. She has written for Foreign Policy, The Diplomat Magazine, ChinaDialogue and other publications. The discussion began with native Chinese students sharing the cultural significance of dumplings and why people eat them on Lunar New Year. Winglee addressed China’s economic rise and how the transition from an agricultural to a more urban-based society has had significant implications — especially with regards to meat consumption.

It is crucial to have a space to celebrate an important part of culture away from home and to implement cultural diversity and inclusion at FES. Happy Lunar New Year again everyone!