International students celebrate heritage

Photo courtesy of Staff Writer Andres Aguirre

On Feb.5 in the Eastern New Mexico University Campus Union Building, many students from different walks of life came together to socialize and learn about the history of the Chinese New Year.

International Affairs student Peiju Jiang organized the event to celebrate with those that couldn’t be with their families that night. Jiang presented the history and background of Chinese New Year and showed a video demonstrating how to make paper parasols, which guests could make at the event. The event also provided fried rice with egg rolls.

“It is the most important festival for me,” said Jiang. “It means family. I want to share the Chinese culture with everyone, and I want them to know my background and traditions,” she said.

This was the first time Jiang ever hosted and organized an event for International Affairs.

“My favorite part of the Chinese New Year are the red packets, because children can get a lot of money from parents and grandparents,” she said.

International Affairs is located on the lower level of the CUB in the Alley and has an open-door policy. They offer a variety of services to students, such as supporting incoming international students, helping them adapt to the ENMU environment, planning activities to make ENMU a home away from home for international students, and providing scholarship opportunities.

International Affairs Graduate Coordinator Kaitlyn Bigham helps international students organize events to be able to teach others about their cultures.

“Honestly, this is the best job I could have ever asked for. We get to learn about different cultures and help them feel at home,” said Bigham. “Getting to be in the International Affairs and just having that opportunity to be exposed to the different cultures that are represented here on campus is amazing, and I love it.”

ENMU student Sinette Wafer said, “My friends told me about this event and I’m glad I came. I learned a lot about their culture and had a good time.”

International Affairs will be hosting events during Black History Month, and the event calendar can be found on the ENMU website.

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