Fireworks are seen during the 2015 Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, Canada, Dec. 25, 2015. As one of the foremost illumination festivals in Canada, the 2015 Winter Festival of Lights, which runs from Nov. 21, 2015 to Jan. 31, 2016, attracts hundreds of thousands of people. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)
Fireworks are seen during the 2015 Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, Canada, Dec. 25, 2015. As one of the foremost illumination festivals in Canada, the 2015 Winter Festival of Lights, which runs from Nov. 21, 2015 to Jan. 31, 2016, attracts hundreds of thousands of people. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)

Fireworks and performances aside, the biggest thing about this year’s Spring Festival celebration at the University of Ghana on Wednesday was the traditional Chinese food on display.

Chinese netizens call their country a land of gluttons, for good reasons. The country’s cuisines became a major attraction in the celebration hosted by the Confucius Institute at the university to usher in the Lunar New Year.

And its appeal to young Ghanaian students is apparent, as many students were spotted enjoying Chinese dishes while several others milling around the many exhibition booths to get a taste of the foods.

Others were also seen buying specially-made foods at the fair, eating with their friends and schoolmates.

In interviews with Xinhua, many students expressed joy after the foodie adventure.

“I feel happy trying to learn about other foods and about other culture,” said Irene Owusu, a form-three student at the University of Ghana Basic Schools.

“I enjoyed noodles with sauce with vegetables. It is nice. It was okay and delicious. I just wanted to try it to see how other people cook their food. And I found out that it is nice,” Awurafua Fosu, also a form-three student, told Xinhua.

The Chinese Spring Festival is the most important festival for the Chinese people, centering on family reunions and dinners.

The celebration of the festival also carries the aspiration of the Chinese people for a better life in the New Year on the lunar calendar.

During Ghana’s version of the celebration, children drawn from teaching sites of the Confucius institute in Accra demonstrated their knowledge of the Chinese language and culture with music, dance and tea art, much to the admiration of the watching dignitaries, including Vice-Chancellor of the University, Ebenezer Oduro Owusu.

Some of the students shared their experiences of the performances during the Spring Festival celebration that held the audience spellbound as well as learning the Chinese language and culture with Xinhua.

“I can speak a little Chinese. I can ask how are you, that is NI HAO … Other schools don’t learn Chinese so sometimes when I say it they don’t believe me. Our school is teaching us Chinese so it is good,” said Isaac Mantey, another form-three student of the University of Ghana Basic Schools.

Margaret Clement, a student of the Confucius Institute, was impressed with the various performances that took place.

“I have never seen so much diabolo, so much umbrella dance, everything was so amazing and I just loved it,” said Clement.

Other activities held to celebrate the day included Chinese painting, couplets writing, paper cutting, Peking opera facial makeup painting and Chinese tea art.

The Chinese enterprises and companies in Ghana also used the occasion to donate over 80,000 U.S. dollars to support the construction of the model Confucius Institute building at the University of Ghana. Enditem

Source: Alex Osei-Boateng, Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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