It was just an idea. Then it got hold of me and I got hold of my managers.
Shall we organise a Chinese Culture Conference and Chinese New Year party to celebrate the Year of Monkey? I asked.
Why not? I got an instant answer.
From there onwards it was smooth sailing. I emailed a bunch of people, members of staff, visiting academics and students with whom we set up an organising committee. On our first brainstorming meeting, everyone present gave their twopence and all, ideas how we could run this. By the end of the meeting, we had a rough plan in place.
On the 3rd of February 2016, Birmingham City University held its first ever Chinese New Year celebration, which comprised two parts: Culture Awareness Conference in the afternoon, and entertainment and food party in the evening.
During the conference, we had a number of speakers, providing the audiences with interesting, informative and insightful presentations, from the cultural diversity within China, to the study and travel tips on the beautiful island (as Formosa in Portuguese) of Taiwan, from the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia to how people celebrate Chinese New Year Singapore style. We also ran a workshop on Student and Staff Mobility which informed the participants of the various opportunities available for a more international experience as well as personal development.
With all the organisation and planning going into the Event, from securing sponsorships for our red packets (from Wing Hua Chinese restaurant) to the fun games especially posted over from Taiwan, participants were also able to practise Chinese calligraphy and listen to beautiful performances from China. Our hugely talented students and visiting musicians from Birmingham Conservatoire gave us an awesome performance. About 300 people attended the celebration in the evening and the Curzon Lecture Hall was packed.
We also had the pleasure of welcoming a visitor from afar, all the way from one of our partner institutions from Taiwan, Dr Aiden Yeh from Wenzao Ursuline University of Foreign Languages. Just before the afternoon session was about the end, BCU’s VC popped in to wish everyone present a very happy Chinese New Year.
I won’t go into too much detail about this celebration, suffice to say how much I enjoyed being part of an amazing team who made this happen. I take this opportunity to show my appreciation to everyone who was involved in making this such a memorable and successful event. So thank you all on the organising committee, in no particular order:
Beetung Goo, Jenny Kung, Ren Jie, Tian Yuan, Wang Wei, Pam Murria, Yang Bong, Peipei Yu, Matthew Lee, Moustapha Ndiaye, Natalie Chan, Maggie Wootton and John Kirk. Without you, it would not have been possible.