Lunar New Year - Celebrating our culture and customs; Valuing family and community

Last month, our Asian Business Network Employee Resources Group (ERG), FUSION, hosted a virtual celebration of the Lunar New Year; which is one of the most culturally and historically significant holidays of the year in eastern cultures. It is traditionally a time to honor and reunite with family; with an emphasis on luck, good health, and fortune for the new year. 2021 is the ‘Year of the Ox’; which signifies hard work, positivity, and honesty. According to the lunar calendar, the festival signals the beginning of Spring; the start of a new year, and it ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar; 15 days later.

Our Fusion Asian Business Network Employee Resources Group’s (ERG’s) vision is to enable professional development, community outreach, and networking opportunities to enhance our colleagues’ leadership capabilities and cultural competency.  Additionally, our FUSION ERG strives to provide a strong sense of belonging and community within the growing Asian population at GSK. This is accomplished through developing a global network of mentors and mentees and raising awareness of Asian and Pacific Islander culture; while aligning to both GSK’s Inclusion and Diversity and business objectives. Its mission is to leverage its programming to enhance our colleagues’ business acumen, leadership, and cultural capabilities by providing opportunities that drive greater connectivity, enhance professional and personal development, and promote cultural awareness at GSK and in the communities in which we live and work.

This celebration and other ERG-sponsored events at GSK provide an important opportunity to increase awareness and understanding of the traditions, histories, and heritages of our colleagues. Collectively, they serve as examples of how we celebrate difference and foster and cultivate an inclusive workplace.

As part of the Lunar New Year celebration this year, our FUSION ERG sponsored a creative and interactive program consisting of inspiring internal speakers, opportunities to learn about Asian culture through traditional foods, a Tai Chi demo, an opera performance, and more. GSK colleagues Samson Wu, Sean Tieu, and Armand Dacanay shared their personal experiences as Asian American senior leaders; how they celebrate the festival with their families and communities and what the Lunar New Year festival means to them. Additionally, the celebration included an educational history lesson on the importance of the festival and was presented by Aboli Godbole. Several delicious and traditional food recipes were shared by Annie Yang, Demi Zhang, and Lydia Wen. These recipes served as an expression of cultural pride and identity and offered a glimpse into the diverse culinary traditions of Asia. We closed the celebration with engaging and interactive performances and workshops; including a traditional Chinese opera performance sung by Mrs. Song Fei Hong, a Tai Chi Fan performance by Susan Liu, and a Lunar New Year trivia workshop led by Vandana Singhal.

Thanks to the engagement and commitment of the entire Fusion ERG leadership team; including our emcee Navy Yard Co-site lead, Demi Zhang,  Co-Enterprise Lead, Elizabeth Kearney and the ERG’s Executive Sponsors. The virtual celebration was educational, thought-provoking, interactive, and well attended.