American Gilman and Fulbright Scholars Celebrate Lunar New Year in Singapore

American Gilman and Fulbright Scholars got their first tastes of steamboat, bak kwa, and lo hei when U.S. Embassy Singapore brought them to Chinatown to experience these quintessential Singaporean Lunar New Year traditions. Some ate pig’s liver and black fungi for the first time, while others tried their hand at tossing a raw fish salad (yusheng).

Singaporean Chinese families gather for a reunion dinner of steamboat on Lunar New Year Eve, cooking a wide variety of food like meats, seafood, vegetables, noodles, and eggs in a hotpot.

It is also customary for families and friends to toss yusheng for good luck and prosperity. The tossing action is called lo hei, and it is believed that the higher you toss the ingredients in the salad, the greater your fortunes will be in the year ahead.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program participants will be studying at various Singapore universities for five months. Many of them are traveling outside the U.S. for the first time and they are looking forward to seeing and learning more about Singapore.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. During their stay, Fulbrighters will be working on a variety of academic projects designed to promote mutual understanding between Americans and Singaporeansl.  The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. During their stay, Fulbrighters will be working on a variety of academic projects designed to promote mutual understanding between Americans and Singaporeans.