Lunar New Year 2018: What the holiday means to us
This year, Hult’s global student body represents an impressive 166 nationalities! Taking our own records to new levels it is no wonder our campuses are beaming with culture, vibrancy, and a real pride of global diversity. At Hult, a big part of student life is sharing traditions from home with fellow Hultians, who for many become a second family. Naturally, month to month, Hult students across our campuses get together to proudly celebrate international holidays. Next up is the Lunar New Year!
A festival celebrated by reportedly 25% of the world’s population, 2018 denotes the Year of the Dog–the animal symbol representing the eleventh year of the zodiac cycle. Living away from home we spoke with four Hult students and graduates, to hear what the holiday means to them and how they plan to spend the holiday.
1. Please tell us about how your Hult experience has been so far–has anything surpassed your expectations?
Joon-Yong: I have loved my experience at Hult. I’ve made some great friends who in such a short time I have become very attached to. I also like how our professors really know how to push students to their limits as this has been helpful in developing my work ethic and discipline.
Jonathan: For me, the best thing about Hult is the extra-curricular offering. If you find there is something missing on campus, you have the opportunity to create it. I’ve always been self-motivated and passionate, and at Hult, you get to be who you want to be. In terms of surpassing expectations, Student services are super supportive and go out of their way to help us.
Sugar: I was a student on the Hult Undergraduate program in London and now I continue my Hult journey as a Master of International Business student in Boston, that in itself definitely shows how much I love my Hult experience. The classes we have are very engaging and practical which prepares for us for the real world. In addition to that Hult provides an extremely international environment where everyone is warmly welcomed. My friends and I always say that at Hult we celebrate every holiday, you name it we cheer for it.
2. What does the Lunar New Year mean to you?
“Now that I live far away from home Lunar New Year means a lot more than just a holiday, it is also a reminder of my roots, my culture and my personal values.”
– Sugar Nguyen, Master of International Business student
Jonathan: Very similar to the January new year. In the sense of new beginnings and generally wishing people prosperity, better future, better health. It’s common to spend time and get together with your family and give each other gifts for good fortune, such as the traditional red envelopes.
Joon-Yong: I think it is similar for all Asians, but the Lunar new year is like the real new year for us. This is the time when we visit our relatives and send typical new year greetings to each other. For some families, this is also a time to hold ceremonies in remembrance of their ancestors.
Dongchen: My family and I are Chinese-Muslim, so for us personally we celebrate the Chinese New Year by gathering together. We spend a lot of time with together, which works great as I actually get to have a quality catch up with them.
Sugar: Lunar New Year or what we call in Vietnamese “Tết”, is like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Eid to us. It is the biggest holiday of South East Asian culture. This holiday is a chance for people to gather around, celebrating what their achievements in the past year and greeting the upcoming one. It is all about reuniting family to create joyful memories, take time to reflect and be appreciative. Now that I live far away from home Lunar New Year means a lot more than just a holiday, it is also a reminder of my roots, my cultures, and my personal values.
3. How do you plan to celebrate the New Year in 2018? Will you celebrate with other Hult students?
Jonathan: I’m planning to have a nice dinner together with my friends, then to go out to a karaoke venue. As President of the Hult Asian Society, on campus, I am organizing a Lunar New Year event. Anyone can come to the event and we’ve arranged for a Lion Dance team and some traditional food to give students a chance to get a taster of a different cultural experience.
Joon-Yong: I have no plans as of yet, but it’s likely I will go for a Korean dinner with fellow students and enjoy some rice-cake soup, traditional for this time of the year.
Dongchen: My father is in town visiting and hopefully my mother will join. So it seems we will be spending Chinese New Year together in London, which I’m very excited about. Most of my friends that I made at Hult are unfortunately living in other countries, so we will just catch up over the phone since we’re unable to be together for this occasion.
Sugar: What I love about globalization is no matter where you are in the world, you can always find a place to celebrate cultural holidays. In London, I always attended the Lion Dance show in China Town then hosted a Lunar New Year dinner with my Hultian friends. This year, though I am in Boston the tradition doesn’t change. The New Year celebration still includes enjoying a variety of classic Asian dishes and a Hong Bao giving ceremony. It will be an amazing opportunity to promote my culture to my new friends here, so I am very excited for my first Lunar New Year in Boston.
4. What are your plans for the year ahead?
Jonathan: I plan to finish the year strong in terms of academics, and graduate with a good result… then hopefully get a job in London! I may pursue a Masters degree. My aim is to eventually get a job back in L.A. working in real estate as that is where my passion lies.
Joon-Yong: I am currently looking for a permanent job in the U.S. within the Tech sector. Until then I plan to study hard and enjoy my time at Hult.
Dongchen: Plans for the year ahead–stay on top of my work and other commitments. Be active, be positive and be happy.
Sugar: My main goal is to successfully graduate from my Master in International Business degree and then continue on with the Dual Degree in Marketing. I hope to create many more valuable professional connections, make new friends, travel more, and last but not least, remember to enjoy the ride.
Jonathan Yu: Bachelor of Business Administration, London Class of 2018, Taiwanese American
Joon-Yong Jun: Global One-Year MBA student, San Francisco Class of 2018, South Korea
Sugar Nguyen: Master of International Business student, Boston Class of 2017, Vietnam
Dongchen Shan: Bachelor of Business Administration graduate, London Class of 2016, China
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