Rose Zhou / Lantern reporter
During hard times, many people try to stay hopeful. For some Ohio State students, staying positive is as simple as setting off a floating lantern on Mirror Lake and making a wish.
In some Asian cultures, fire lanterns are used to send off troubles and bring good luck, and they filled the lake Thursday night when an Asian cultural fraternity hosted an event allowing students to make their own fire lanterns and release them on Mirror Lake last Thursday night.
“Fire lanterns are a very applicable cultural aspect for many cultures, including Asian culture,” said Yao Ting Zheng, a fourth-year in actuarial sciences and economics and president of Pi Delta Psi Fraternity.
Zheng said the lanterns represent hopes and dreams of the people who release them. As they cast their wishes and let their lanterns go, they can release the sadness and problems in their life.
“Since the lanterns were put on Mirror Lake, we wanted the general public to start to see and understand aspects of Asian culture,” Zheng said. “And how Pi Delta Psi Fraternity is striving to educate and advocate for Asian culture through innovative and fun means.”
Pi Delta Psi is a multicultural Greek organization that embodies Greek ideals and preserves the culture and ethnic identities of its members. Zheng said the fraternity’s inspirations of hosting this event stemmed from its continuous quest to understand more about each other’s cultures, and fire lanterns represented all of the cultures appropriately.
Chris Aldana, a second-year in political science, said she loves fire lanterns even though she hadn’t lit one up before the event.
“I used to see them when I lived in Asia, so I think this is really sweet that we can put this on Mirror Lake,” Aldana said.
Aldana said she wrote “For acceptance, equality, inclusion and love” on her lantern because she attended an event about interracial marriages and relationships before she came to make and set off her own lantern.
“I’m a half-Filipino and half-Australian … I hope that one day, kids like me who are mixed race don’t get treated negatively and people accept us.”
Ed Rector, a fourth-year in management information systems, said he attended the event because he thought it would be a fun thing to do, and he is trying to get more affiliated with Greek life.
“I definitely wrote some messages on my lantern,” Rector said. “Things I kind of want to come true in the future, being happy, great friendships and things I want to do in my life, like change the world.”
Zheng said the perception of Greek Life, especially fraternities, is negative, but said the student body doesn’t see many of the good events like these.
“In hosting events such as the one tonight, we hope to educate others not only that we do more than the perceived stereotypes,” Zheng said. “But we want to educate and strive to be leaders by promoting diversity, friendship and service.”