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The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Blog Happy Chinese New Year!

DUCOM Asian Pacific Medical Student Association making dumplings.

You say, "Gong hei fat choy" if you're Cantonese, or "Gong xi fa chai" if you're giving the Mandarin greeting—either way you're sending wishes of great happiness and prosperity for this Lunar New Year! 2019 is the Year of the Pig, bringing smooth prospects and good luck in career, health and love for all of those who belong to this Chinese Zodiac sign.

Although exams moved our celebrations back a bit, our Asian Pacific Medical Student Association decided to commemorate the Lunar New year with a dumpling wrapping (and eating) event. Although dumplings are a staple menu item during Chinese New Year as they represent wealth and prosperity, an old wives' tale shares their medicinal history.

According to legend, over 1800 years ago, a very cold winter caused many poor people to suffer from high fevers and frostbite on their ears. To fight against these challenges, Zhang Zhongjing, a Chinese physician who is well-known for his many contributions to traditional Chinese medicine, mixed mutton meat, chili peppers and herbs together to fill dough wrappers that he formed into an ear-like shape. He boiled his creations and gave each patient a bowl filled with hot soup and two "ears." As the days passed, patients noticed they were recovering from their frostbite and the fever epidemic was finally under control. After hearing this story, I thought our students couldn't have chosen a better way to celebrate the end of their exams and the beginning of the Year of the Pig.


Traditional Chinese Dumplings
Traditional Chinese Dumplings

Korean Inspired Dumplings
Korean Inspired Dumplings


Being Asian myself, dumplings have always been a staple in my home, and while my mother taught me how to wrap them years ago, I am grateful for the technological advances of frozen food. Today, I just grab them from the freezer, stick them in the steamer for 10 minutes and soon I'm enjoying a simple yet delicious meal. But it was fun to see the different techniques that the students shared today, and it was even more fun seeing how each person's culture influenced the shape of their dumpling.

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone! I hope 2019 brings you prosperity and joy!

Issa DiSciullo
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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