SGSC’s Cultural Exchange Club celebrates Chinese New Year in Atlanta
South Georgia State College’s (SGSC) Cultural Exchange Club on both the Douglas and Waycross campuses came together to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which was Friday, February 16, 2018. The group left the Douglas campus that morning with eleven students and faculty members headed for Atlanta. They enjoyed dinner that evening at Ponce City Market. There were varying restaurants to choose from and students were able to experience foods from different cultures. On Saturday morning, February 17th, the group visited the Fernbank Museum of Natural History which was a hit for both the faculty members and students. Next, they visited downtown Atlanta, where they toured CNN studios, took a walk through Centennial Park and ended the day with a tour of the Coca-Cola Museum. Douglas faculty advisor and sociology professor Ms. Bobbi Hancock said, “We were exhausted, but we all had a BLAST!”
On Sunday, they drove to Chinatown in Atlanta to help ring in the New Year in authentic Chinese style. They visited many different shops and booths, where students and faculty could purchase souvenirs and food provided by members of the Chinese community in Atlanta. They were able to see the Lion Dance and the Dragon Dance, which are both customary in Chinese culture for such a celebration. You could even feed good luck money into the mouth of the Lion for good luck all year long! They finished the New Year celebration with a group dinner at an authentic Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. Many of the group had never had “real” Chinese food before and all eleven of them ate with chop sticks.
Dr. Yuna Chen, economics professor, shared many stories with students and faculty about Chinese culture, including that in China, eating with your mouth full is a totally acceptable thing to do. Supposedly, it lets the cook know that you are enjoying the food. “We all learned so much about Chinese culture while we were there,” said Ms. Hancock. “It was definitely a true cultural exchange for both students and faculty alike.”