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Chinese Students Celebrate Christmas with “Peaceful Fruit”

Chinese Students Celebrate Christmas with “Peaceful Fruit”

By Richard Ji
Coordinator for International Partnerships

Elizabeth Davnie hypothesized that "when a culture needs to integrate into another, both cultures’ true colors will change," in her article Christmas is amazingly popular in China.

As America welcomes people from all around the world, more and more of China’s younger generation is open to enjoying aspects of western culture. Otterbein has approximately 36 students from China enrolled in classes this year. All of them are very excited to enjoy Christmas with their host families. According to the Office of International Admission, Chinese students have assimilated well into their classrooms and have been met with respect and appreciation from their fellow classmates.

Now that students are on winter break, the Chinese students are ready to celebrate the holidays with a blend of American and Chinese traditions.

In 2010, the Pew Research Center estimated that Christians represented only 5 percent of the total population in China. However, according to China’s official news agency Xinhua News, a public opinion survey of 2,000 people showed that more than 90 percent of people have some special arrangements to celebrate Christmas Eve this year.

An important custom for the Chinese is the passing out of  “Peaceful Fruit.” “Peaceful Fruit” is a decorated apple with Christmas wishes on it.

For many Chinese, especially young people, Christmas is a festival for partying and shopping rather than religious celebration. Usually at the beginning of December, shopping centers are lavishly decorated, restaurants serve “Christmas Dinner” and major stores carry Christmas products and host other promotional events. People enjoy shopping, eating and singing Karaoke with families and friends on Christmas Eve.

Learn more about Otterbein's international presence on the Office of International Admission's website.