Student residents at CityU celebrate New Year with President

Helen Mok

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President Kuo handed out lucky gift packs and rice cakes at the halls of residence.
Residents could safely enjoy the festive atmosphere through activities organised by the Student Residence Office.

Despite the drizzle in Hong Kong just before the Chinese New Year, President Way Kuo of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) today (10 February) distributed lucky gift packs in person at the Student Residence.

Due to the pandemic, lots of non-local student residents could not return home during the holidays and some local students are also staying in the halls of residence. To make them feel more encouraged, copies of the poem “A cold New Year’s Eve at Tai Yuen” (《除夜太原寒甚》) written by Yu Qian, a poet from the Ming Dynasty, were included in the gift pack.

The meaning in the poem is to cheer up friends living away from their hometowns and urge them not to be afraid of the cold weather. In the poem, the newly arrived Spring breeze symbolises how we should keep faith to overcome difficulties, adding that Winter will end soon and Spring is yet to come. 

President Kuo was joined by Professor Richard Yuen Kwok-kit, Chief-of-Staff, Professor Raymond Chan Hon-fu, Vice-President (Student Affairs), Professor Lo Tit-wing, Associate Vice-President (Student Affairs), and Professor Eric Chui Wing-hong, Dean of Students.  

In addition to the poem, written out by hand by President Kuo, the packs included rice cakes, masks and fruit. Local student residents and those from Germany, Indonesia, mainland China, Malaysia, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, and the UK joined festive activities organised by the Student Residence Office (SRO). Some residents also enjoyed a relaxing afternoon with the President making rice cakes together. 

Residents could safely enjoy the festive atmosphere through virtual activities.
President Kuo handed out lucky gift packs and rice cakes at the halls of residence.

Juan David López Barbosa, an exchange student from Spain in the Department of Electrical Engineering, was thrilled to receive the lucky gift pack from President Kuo, saying this was the first time he had celebrated the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong and that he enjoyed very much the festival activities organised by SRO. He supported the need to maintain social distancing and go out less.

SRO and Residence Masters strictly follow preventive measures for Covid-19 while at the same time putting on a variety of activities for celebrating the Chinese New Year. For example, residents could share blessings and communicate with each other online and enjoyed dinner or a poon choi banquet delivered to their rooms. Other activities such as couplet writing classes and pinwheel-making workshops, among others, offer exchange students insight into Hong Kong’s traditional festival for the New Year. 

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