Happy Chinese New Year!

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The International Center welcomed the Year of the Rabbit with a night celebrating Asian culture. There was food, music and dancing provided by students from China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

Illustration by Natalie Psuik

“Gong xi fa chai” and “xin nian kaui le” are expressions you would hear during the Chinese New Year to wish  prosperity and many blessings.

The university’s International Chinese New Year event was held on Friday, Jan. 21. Center Stage was filled with many students, as well as families that came to enjoy the good food and entertainment.

The Chinese New Year, which is celebrated all over Asia, is really the one time of year that families designate time together to rejoice and take a break from their bustling lives. They celebrate with good food, music, dancing and fireworks.

The entertainment and dinner course that was served for the event included a combination of traditions from China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

There were ten different performances, mostly performed by the school’s talented international students, the first being a Japanese Kabuki dancer dressed in a beautiful kimono, accompanied by a musician playing the shamisen, an instrument that is similar to a guitar or violin.

Next up was a Chinese line dance of the dancing dragon. The tradition of the Chinese dragon is to go around dancing and twisting and turning to scare off evil spirits. While doing this, the dragon offers three gifts for the new year: fortune, prosperity and happiness. The dragon approached many people in the crowd, which made for some good laughs.

There was also a quick lesson on some useful tae kwon do moves that originated in South Korea and a magic show. One of the highlights of the evening was the music that was performed. A few students sang Asian love songs and a band performed.

The Korean drums and gongs were played by a lively bunch of international students. This is a tradition in South Korea that is performed for good luck into the New Year. The drums were played with very strong, fast beats, and shouts from the drum players were incorporated into the music.

A fun night full of lots of entertainment and mingling, Chinese New Year was a great success and one that should not be missed in the future.

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