Eight overseas students from Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and other countries cooked Laba congee - a thick rice porridge - on Wednesday to express gratitude for the teachers who helped them get through 2020 and the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic.
Laba Festival falls on the eighth day of the 12th month on the Chinese lunar calendar. It's traditional to cook congee, a porridge made by boiling rice in water until it acquires a pudding-like consistency. It is shared with family and friends to welcome the new year.
"With the coming of Laba, we wish everyone safety and especially thank our teachers, who helped us a lot in the past year," said Aibek Nurlanbekov, an international student from Kyrgyzstan who studies international trade at Liaoning University.
In China, food and festivals are often linked, and the food carries good wishes. Aibek and the other international students bought high-quality grains online from Liaoning province. They cooked the Laba congee together to thank their teachers for helping them spend the year 2020 safely and in good health.
"We are also grateful to share congee with our students. They may not speak Chinese, but I can feel their hearts. This is not only a pot of congee but also a symbol of gratitude and love for China," said Jiang Tao, head of the Institute of International Education at the university.
Chen Mo contributed to this story.