The end of 2011 was full of festivities. In mid-December I attended Yunnan University’s Christmas Gala, where foreign students studying Chinese, MBA candidates and some China-Canada Project students performed on a big stage to an audience of several hundred, including some head honchos from the university. Audience members were given light-saber-esque glow sticks and annoying plastic hand clappers upon entering the auditorium, which they used before, during and after every performance. I thought that “gala” meant “banquet” which meant food, but I unfortunately found out that was an incorrect assumption. My stomach grumbled while I tried to sit patiently through the three-hour long event. The hope of winning the iPad raffle prize kept me awake… Jess wrote a pretty good summary of the best performances on her blog.
A week later, the China-Canada project had its own smaller holiday party which also featured a remarkable list of performances by students, as well as some endearingly awkward games. Apparently one of the foreign teachers last year set up a crepe station and made them during the party, so my students asked me to contribute some food. UM, BIG SHOES TO FILL! I knew I couldn’t top that act, but I thought it would be rude not to make anything. At the last second, I thought of the perfect treat– Muddy Buddies. You know, Chex cereal coated in melted chocolate and peanut butter, then covered in powdered sugar. I wanted to tell the students it was called “Reindeer Poop” but I settled for “Reindeer Food” instead. It was a hit!
Then, approaching the new year, in the span of a week I was invited to two Chinese wedding banquets. I was super psyched, especially when the invitations came with a little red box filled with chocolates. Now that’s how to get people’s attention! Jess wrote a great post about the weddings, so I’ll just leave you with a few pictures. These were my first Chinese weddings, and from what other people were saying, it seems like they weren’t actually the formal wedding, but more like a preliminary party before the bride and groom seal the deal at an official ceremony in their hometown. Nevertheless, it was fun to attend.
Overall, I had fun getting dressed up for the different events, stuffing my face with food and candy, and listening to many (too many) heartfelt, yet off-key, songs performed.