MSSU International students have a home away from home at annual Chinese New Year celebration

The Chinese/Lunar New Year began January 25th.

The Chinese/Lunar New Year began January 25th.

The annual Chinese New Year festival brings the largest human migration to China to reunite with family and tradition, but many are unable to make it back home for the celebrations.

“It’s a day that everybody goes to their hometown, stay with their family, eat together, have fun and I haven’t been to China for spring festival which is Chinese New Year for four years” said MSSU student, Chunyun Peng.

Chunyun Peng, came to America by himself, and started a new life as a student at Missouri Southern State University.

However, he still longed for a way to keep up with his traditions back home.

“I really need somewhere that I can actually enjoy the Chinese New Year.”

He was surprised to find there was a way for him to celebrate right here.

The International Friendship Families group hosts and supports international students who attend MSSU. Each year, it brings the Chinese New Year celebration to College Heights Church.

“There’s actually people in America that want to help us celebrate our festival” added Peng.

The event brings in more than 100 people and is full of traditional Chinese food, music and games.

“Were just wanting to have a place where people of all different backgrounds come together and celebrate this big celebration that’s celebrated all over the world. So, we have a lot of students from MSSU coming to learn about culture and the lunar new year” said Event host, Sam Khors.

“Its special to them, they come to America and many of them brought their culture and a part of that is celebrating their new year and we want to celebrate it with them” added Event Coordinator, Kaitlyn Curry.

2020 marks the year of the rat, and a new 12 year cycle in the Chinese zodiac, representing the start of new beginnings.

For Peng, he may not be home with his family…but he’s found a place that feels just like it.

“I’m missing my home but this place just kind of made up for it.”

With the recent corona-virus outbreak in china, event coordinators asked that those attending come only if they have not traveled to china within the last 30 days.