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The Chinese New Year of the Sheep welcomed at Tongji Lounge

The Chinese New Year of the Sheep 2015 was celebrated at the Aalto Tongji Lounge by some 60 students and staff members.

The new year celebrations were enjoyed in good company, with tea and games like mah-jong and Three Empires Kill. Aalto University's Provost Ilkka Niemelä joined in the get-together.

– In China, being together with your family is highlighted during the holiday seasons like the new year, explained Dongjin Song to Leena Plym-Rissanen, Manager of International Relations. Song is an Aalto doctoral student from Tongji.

– This year, we had dinner at one of my peer's home. Everyone brought something to the table, so not one person needed to prepare the whole dinner for everyone.In addition to enjoying plenty of good food on this celebratory evening, it is also traditional to watch a Spring Festival gala show from Beijing, which we also did, continues Song in summarising how she and her fellow students saw the New Year of the Sheep in.

At this table played the 'true mah-jong professionals', as only those understanding the Chinese language were able to read the pawns which were in Chinese. Sitting left to right are Jia Liang Cai, Yun, Ilkka Niemelä, Zhong, and Henrik Heino.

Meri Vainio of Design Factory (on the left) hosted at another table a game of mah-jong.

Mah-jong is commonly played by four players, and it is widely played throughout Eastern and South Eastern Asia. It is a game similar to rummy, requiring strategy and calculation, and a degree of chance, from its players. (Source: Wikipedia)

At this card game table, a light-hearted competition was played between Fang Pingping (on the left), San Guo Sha and Ilkka Niemelä.

The Chinese New Year celebrations were organised by Aalto University Design Factory at Tongji Lounge on the university's Otaniemi campus. Tongji Lounge is Tongji University's shop window in Finland, and a gateway to China for Aalto University and its partners. Aalto University has been active on the Tongji University campus for more than five years.

Tongji University is a strategic partner to Aalto University. There were around 320 Chinese students at Aalto University in 2014, whereas around 30 Aalto students studied in China the same year.

More information

Design Factory in Finland
Sino-Finnish Centre at Vaasa University

Text: Leena Plym-Rissanen, Heli Laukko
Photos: Mikko Raskinen

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