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Overseas Community Students Celebrate 2022 Spring Festival in Taiwan

NPUST has enjoyed fruitful academic exchanges throughout Southeast Asia for many years; and for many years, the school has been welcoming good numbers of bright young students from Malaysia into its programs. For these Overseas Community students, Chinese New Year is a time usually spent at home with family and loved ones. And so, with cultural care and support from both the Ministry of Education and Overseas Community Affairs Council, this year on January 24th a Spring Festival Dinner was held for those students to help the feel at home for the holidays.
At the banquet hall in Donggang, NPUST Vice-President Chao-lin Tuan addressed the students, saying that “because of the pandemic, people cannot return home to be with family. But we hope that this year everyone will be happy and that at this dinner you will be able to enjoy the Chinese New Year atmosphere. We wish everyone health in the New Year and that all your plans will succeed. The Year of the Tier will be better.”  
Two students from Malaysia, Chan Han Qin and Chen Ching Teng served as the hosts for the event, using lively activities to set the atmosphere and get everyone in a festive mood. The overseas Chinese students demonstrated a variety of skills throughout the program, with Ooi Chun Haw and Lee You Jun opening things up with a fantastic diablo routine performed to Chinese-style music. Three students from the Overseas Youth Vocational Training School (Eng Xin Ye, Nicholas Koe Ming Song, and Tam Hou Wan) and four freshmen students (Yap Han Li, Chan Han qin, Jo Lee Xiao Thong, Ang Jia Min) followed up with a series of Chinese New Year song and dance performances. As they listened to the songs from back home, the students in the audience joined in and sang along, making for a joyous scene. Adding to the ambiance, Chew Yongqi played a number of popular songs on the violin and immersed everyone in the melodious sounds of familiar songs as they enjoyed their food.
As per custom, Vice-President Chao-lin Tuan made his way from table to table to personally present a red envelope to each student and wish them a safe and happy New Year. The warm gesture was a highlight of the event, and gave the freshmen students celebrating the New Year away from home for the first time quite a pleasant surprise. Also very grateful, the senior students repeatedly thanked the Office of International Affairs and the school for the care they received. 
For the event finale, a lucky draw was held and a fun game gave students a chance to have some extra laughs and prizes. Participating students got on stage and put sticky notes all over their bodies. Then, when the music played, they swayed to the beat to see how many of the sticky notes they could shake off. When the music stopped, the student with the least notes won.
After the dinner, the party proceeded to Donggang’s Donglong Temple— one of Taiwan’s famous Wang Ye temples. On the scene, a tour guide introduced the origin and beauty of the architecture and explained about the god of the temple. The guide also shared on the origins of the King Welcoming Ceremony, the building of the King's Ship, the expelling of evil spirits, and the “Sending of the King”. The students learned how, according to the folk customs, these things represented "heritage", " recognition of ancestry", "reverence for gods" and "respect for the Tao". During the process, students gained an understanding of Taiwan culture and could also silently pray for the well-being of their family and friends—and for the epidemic to subside as soon as possible with hopes of returning to home in the near future to reunite and celebrate with family and friends. 
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