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International Students Share the Atmosphere of Lunar New Year

<p>By Kevin Tang<br /> Campus Reporter</p> <p>Around 230 international students had their own experience of the Chinese New Year, as the National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) Office of International Affairs (OIA) held the 2009 Chinese New Year Party for International Students this Friday from 12:10pm to 2pm today.</p> <p>&quot;What we wanted to do was to introduce international students to the rituals of the Chinese New Year, and also the values behind them &ndash; ones such as kinship and friendship,&rdquo; said Lee Yu-ping (李玉萍), a staff member of the OIA.</p> <p>The event, which took place at the Garden Party Restaurant (Union Building B1), began with a traditional ritual of prayers to ancestors, led by NTNU Vice President Jo Chen (陳瓊花).&nbsp; Participation in the ritual had been stated to be optional, so as to avoid conflicts with certain religious beliefs.</p> <p>Chinese New Year songs, sketches and representations by international students as well as the NTNU College of Music were also part of the schedule, while the audience enjoyed a traditional reunion lunch.</p> <p>&quot;Even after four years, I still find this quite amazing,&rdquo; said Seiko Mochizuki, a Japanese-Taiwanese senior.</p> <p>Lee explained that this decrease in frequentation was possibly linked to the absence of the International Students New Year&rsquo;s Eve Reunion Dinner, a year-long tradition of the OIA which was cancelled this year due to transportation issues.</p> <p>Instead, the OIA plans to distribute red envelopes, with NT$500 each, to the international students who decide to stay in Taipei for the Chinese New Year.</p> <p>&quot;We want to facilitate their staying here in Taipei,&rdquo; Lee said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>