Lunar New Year extravaganza

Hat dance during the Lunar New Year celebration

By Grayson Ruhl

Executive Staff

Photo by Kimberly Williams

On February 20, Asian Sensation , JapanAddicts, and the Organization for Cross-Cultural Understanding (OCCU) hosted a Lunar New Year Party at the Women’s Center. Everyone was welcome to celebrate the year of the Goat, and there was a fantastic attendance. This was an especially festive and well-organized event, full of authentic Oriental decorations, a delicious buffet of Asian food, and an array of exquisite and mesmerizing performances. Although Chinese New Year of 2015 fell on February 19, this event gave many students and faculty a chance to celebrate.

From Unagi Sashimi to crab rangoon, the spread of appetizing food was not only extremely filling, but also delectable. The buffet line grew as long as the Great Wall of China as more and more eager guests prepared to embark on this epic feast. Although the spread was bountiful, the crowd seemed to be so boundless—more and more hungry and excited folks kept shuffling in from the snowy outdoors—that one’s opportunity for second helpings was fleeting. Still, this truly was an “all you can eat” experience for most. This meal was made complete by a delicious dessert from our beloved chef Justin Slivensky.

After everyone had eaten to his or her heart’s content, Enze Gong (C’17) gave an invigorating speech that roused the audience. Gong, disappointed that Chinese New Year is not officially celebrated as a national holiday in America, explained that students who celebrate this holiday should be allowed the day off of school. As Asian influence grows in America, Gong explains that it is reasonable to respect the importance of Chinese New Year. Gong’s necessary and good-natured speech ushered in the tantalizing performances of the night.

The first performance was a Vietnamese Hat Dance. Obviously a well-rehearsed performance, the dancers operated and flowed as a seamless unit, portraying the pain of a woman waiting for her lover who never comes. With their use of nón lá hats, their dance was magnificently synchronized and captivated the audience. Next was a solo Tai chi performance by Xu Huiqi Sherlock (C’16). Proving his mastery of this graceful martial art practice, Sherlock also enthralled the audience. Following these talented acts was a multicultural fashion show, which modeled many different Asian types of attire. From the formal áodài Vietnamese dress to the traditional Japanese Kimono, these beautiful garments demonstrated the wonderful diversity of Asian fashion.

After these events, the audience mingled, dined, and enjoyed participating in this festive occasion. Several children swarmed the stage and showed off their own dance moves, although they were not nearly as rehearsed as the Vietnamese hat dance or Tai chi performance. As was the case when the event began, popular Chinese music was played for all to hear, adding to this immersive experience. Everyone left the Lunar New Year celebration feeling content, both from the amazing feast and the extraordinary spectacle and appreciation of Asian culture.