By Judy Pham
Humber First Year Experience has hailed its Chinese Lantern Festival at the North campus on Monday to be a major improvement compared to last year’s event.
“Last year, we learned what the demands were and this year we were able to provide for that demand,” said Davi Lall, senior peer mentor for FYE, which helps new students get involved in campus life.
“There’s a few things that we have today that we didn’t have then. We weren’t great with the lantern making, we’ve improved on that. We didn’t have a riddles table, we didn’t have as much staff for calligraphy,” said Lall.
Although FYE only expected 300 people to turn out, the event was estimated to reach 500 people.
The event had many activities, including an information booth, riddles with prizes, calligraphy, DIY lantern making,
Free food was also available, including spring rolls, wontons and green tea from David’s Tea. To top it all off, there was a raffle for a $100 Mandarin restaurant gift card for students that participated in at least four of the five activities and submitted their names.
FYE committee co-chairs Alex Woodley and Glen Dobson believe it is important for occasions such as this to continue.
“It’s great to learn and share in others’ cultures. Lanterns are symbolic to the culture as light represents fire, a new beginning of sorts,” said Woodley.
Dobson highlighted the calligraphy booth, saying, “it may encourage students to learn the language. It gives them an introduction to it,” he said
Stephanie Geller, FYE facilitator, said FYE “tries to run as many diverse events as we can.
“We know we have a large international population here. The First Year Experience program puts on these events for the first year students to get involved, get connected, and feel like they have a home here at Humber,” said Geller.
The event brought out a diverse crowd.
Ryerson Media Productions student Tyrone Niranjan was keen on the lantern-making booth.
“I just really like the East Asian culture. I’m hoping to learn even more about it here so that’s what I’m looking forward to,” said Niranjan.
Humber Paralegal student Thi Bui came out to get her name written in calligraphy.
“I saw they have the Chinese words (in) calligraphy. I love that stuff, so I wanted to get it. Definitely I’m going to come back next year,” said Bui.
Dobson said FYE will continue hosting diversity events throughout the year.
“This month is for the Year of the Rooster (in Chinese tradition). But coming in March, we’ll be having more diverse events with Caribbean folks, Asians, and people from North America. So a mix of people, not just one culture but a whole broad spectrum to get to know all people.”