Allen Hall hosts Chinese New Year feast

Allen Hall residents work together to prepare decorations for their Chinese New Year Feast. Brooke Giacin | Multimedia Journalist.

By Sarah Pinkerton | Staff Writer

To celebrate the Year of the Rat, residents of Allen Hall gathered together on Sunday evening for a Chinese New Year Feast.

Hunan, China, freshman Yuncheng Yao was provided with a budget for food and prepared a meal consisting of tofu, eggs and peppers for other residents.

Yao said it took him around four hours to cook the meal. Allen Hall residents gathered in the lobby, decorated the room with red and yellow streamers and ate the meal together.

Chinese New Year has always been a holiday Yao celebrates alongside his family. He said his favorite part has always been “receiving the red package from your parents,” which is typically filled with money.

Parker, Colo., freshman Trenton Meier said some of his friends had traveled to Dallas to celebrate Chinese New Year.

“It would be cool to experience something like they did, and my suite-mate is Chinese, so maybe I’d learn a little bit more about his culture,” Meier said.

Tomball freshman Blake Brockway said one of his favorite parts about Allen Hall is the overall unity.

“It’s really nice to meet all those unique people,” Brockway said. “That’s really what I love about this place. It’s so unique and so tight-knit.”

While Allen residents Brockway and Meier did not grow up in Chinese culture, they both saw the event as an opportunity to learn more about it and what it means to other students.

Allen Hall, the all-boys leadership Living and Learning Center, often holds events for residents to connect with each other.

This event provided opportunity for community and relationship building between United States born residents and international residents.

Amid the Chinese music playing, colorful decorations strewn throughout the room and loud conversation, residents were able to learn more about Chinese culture and Chinese New Year.

Attendees were able to experience the tradition alongside students that celebrate it each year. Yao said he did not know what to expect from the evening but that he was excited about the event.

“My whole life, we haven’t really celebrated it a whole lot, but I really examined it through a lot of Chinese exchange students I’ve seen here at Baylor and back where I’m from in Tomball,” Brockway said. “I’ve seen what it’s meant to them and it’s very impactful and I understand that it has a very big impact on some people.”