Celebrating Chinese New Year in Flushing

Elizabeth Rao’25

For the first time since the pandemic, Peddie students were able to celebrate Chinese New Year in New York City in January. Students from the Chinese Program and Chinese heritage students boarded the buses at 10 a.m. and arrived at the New World Mall in Flushing, Queens, at Noon. The teachers gave them assignments for activities and a red packet with two chocolate coins to wish them a lucky and healthy new year.

After they arrived, the students had the opportunity to dine at the food court in the mall. The food court had a variety of delicious cuisines, ranging from Chinese to Thai food. Other stores offered bubble tea and traditional Taiwanese desserts. Some students ordered food in Chinese, giving them the opportunity to practice their speaking skills. 

After lunch, there were many other activities for the students at the mall, from identifying the colors in their favorite boutique store to naming unique fruits in the supermarket. They also bought souvenirs from the stores in the mall. Dr. Jiang, who helped organize the trip, remarked that her intention was to “help students to gain first-hand experiences and to learn about Chinese culture. And most importantly [to put the] language in use.” 

After they had completed their assignments, the students returned to the mall entrance where the chaperones of the trip were waiting. They left the mall at around 2 p.m. for their bus ride back to Peddie campus.

When reflecting on the trip, Dr. Jiang thought that it was very successful despite the rainy weather, saying that “from what I heard from the students, they all enjoyed it regardless of the weather.” For next year’s trip, she also hopes to allow more students to join and extend their stay in Flushing.

The Flushing trip was a great opportunity for students at Peddie to gain new experiences with Chinese culture. Many were able to reconnect with their traditions after being away from home for a long time. As the impacts of COVID diminish, the Chinese New Year trip to New York will no doubt return as one of the most beloved Peddie traditions.