15 days of New Years with a twist

Mr. Chen held a bow to the four-stringed mahogany instrument that he invented himself. Most students here have never seen anything like the bello, let alone the celebration that followed.Mr. Chen and the homemade music maker were the featured performance of this year’s Chinese New Year Celebration at UVM’s Apartment and Family Housing (AFH) on Feb. 27.The Chinese Student Union, in conjunction with AFH, hosts the event annually, Angel Orsini, coordinator for Community Development Apartments and Family Housing, said.At the event, attendees learned to make rice dumplings called Yuanxiao, won gifts for English riddles and learned to write their names in Chinese, Orsini said.”Here in the states it is New Year’s, in China its 15 days [of celebration] and it wraps up in Yuanxiao,” he said.”It has been one of the largest cultural events up at AFH, we generally get up to 100 people,” Orsini said.According to the UVM website, AFH — located in Colchester — serves student families, same-sex couples, single graduate students, single non-traditional undergraduate students and single upper class undergraduates.AFH houses individuals from 33 different countries, Assistant Director for AFH Sharon Pitterson-Ogladez said.”I believe it is the most diverse living area at UVM,” she said. “In fact I believe it is the most diverse place at UVM period.”The Chinese students are a large group at AFH, she said. “They are always so involved and interested in what is going on — we really love having them.”Saint Michael’s student Xiaoyu Hu said that she finds the people here to be very nice.”When I am in China people may never smile at me, but here as soon as you have eye contact, everyone smiles and says, ‘Hi,'” she said.Hu said she really enjoyed the event and the opportunity to celebrate.”We plan this event every year to celebrate Chinese culture,” she said. “We all work together to make this event so we can share our culture with people from all over the world.”