A lot has changed since Regions associates first began ringing in the Lunar New Year together.
“When we started our annual celebration, it was a very small but lovely gathering of the Consumer Credit Risk team,” explained Di Wu, a consumer credit risk quantitative team leader at Regions. “We had a potluck and sat together and shared happiness with each other.”
That was nearly a decade ago. Now, while the setting has changed – moving to a video conference setting this year – the celebration and group of attendees has grown significantly.
“This is the most traditional festival for us. We are so far away from home, but Regions made us feel at home,” explained Vivian Xiong, a consumer credit risk quantitative team leader at Regions. “We are so grateful that we could have included more groups to celebrate this event with us. This really shows how Regions embraces diversity and inclusion for all of us.”
Together, Wu and Xiong help coordinate the annual celebration, which has turned into a can’t-miss event with live performances, activities and a feast, including a zodiac cake. Though COVID-19 sidelined the in-person festivities this year, the exuberance felt from the event was still felt.
“It is different and challenging this year because we cannot celebrate in person. But we really still wanted to share the happiness and celebrate with everyone,” Wu explained.
This year’s event featured associates presenting memories from home and anecdotes on their hometown’s traditions.
Did you know there is a very strong breakfast culture in Wuhan, China? Regions associate Stanley Yuan shared this tidbit with attendees, adding that residents will even bring their own chairs to a busy restaurant so they can enjoy the meal together while the food stays hot and flavorful.
Meanwhile, in Dongguan, China, Regions associate Yong Li explained that residents are obsessed with tea culture. When it comes to enjoying time with friends, Li says they will go out for dim sum – or yum cha – and have tea as they catch up.
Associate Jennifer Dao explained that to observe the Lunar New Year where she is from in Vietnam, there are two things they must have at the house: kumquat and cherry blossoms, which are believed to bring good luck in the new year.
Live looks into the homes of some associates invited participants to see how some associates celebrate the occasion with their families. Associate Hieu Tran showed the traditional Vietnamese foods enjoyed this time of year, along with all of the flowers used to decorate and serve as a sign of prosperity in the new year.
The exchanging of traditional recipes was a well-embraced part of this year’s event, along with special guests, including greetings from former Regions associates who now live across the world, as far away as Tokyo.
“My favorite part of our Lunar New Year celebration is learning about and appreciating Chinese and Asian cultures,” shared Tom Bloetscher, Consumer Credit Risk executive for Regions. “It always pleases me to see how proud our associates are of their heritage and their willingness to share it with us.”
Before the event wrapped, Wu shared a final comment to attendees via the chat function: 新年快乐.
Happy New Year!