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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Asian Student Alliance welcomes the Year of the Dragon

 

Sparkly outfits, red and gold balloons, streamers and tables draped in red covered Burt Kahn Court for the Asian Student Alliance’s celebration of Lunar New Year on Feb. 22.

The event included a variety of Asian cuisines, such as fried rice, egg rolls, crab rangoon, lo mein and dumplings. Students made dragon-themed crafts while waiting for dinner.

Nancy Nguyen, ASA’s public relations director and a sophomore nursing major, explained how Lunar New Year commemorates the arrival of spring in the Chinese calendar.

“So this year, it’s the Year of the Dragon,” Nguyen said. “So it’s basically just a celebration with family and friends. Just a time to be together for the new year.”

The Year of the Dragon symbolizes power, honor, luck and nobility. In the Chinese zodiac, dragons are known for being significant and powerful creatures.

Nguyen said this year’s event differs from last year because previously the ASA did a traditional Chinese fan dance, but this year the Ju Long Wushu Chinese Martial Arts Training Center  —  located in South Windsor, Connecticut  — performed a lion dance to promote good luck and fortune.

“As a kid I would always watch (lion dancing) with my family and it’s always just really fun to watch no matter how old you are,” Nguyen said.

Children of all ages gracefully danced across the gym in colorful attire and completed various dance positions in perfect sequence. The bright yellow and red lions quickly grabbed the attention of the audience and left the energy in the room full of happiness and cheer.

Nguyen’s role in the process was helping with the organization’s social media accounts, creating the flyers and spreading the word of the event.

“The main purpose is to just have fun, and to try different things, try different foods and we also incorporate some culture and learning experiences from our presentation so it’s also a learning experience for more people to learn about the Asian culture,” Nguyen said.

Victoria Michaud, a first-year radiologic science major, found out about the Lunar New Year event through Instagram. She said she was looking forward to the performance and the food the most.

“I’ve never really been to a Lunar New Year celebration, I wanted … (to) really explore the culture,” Michaud said. “I’ve always heard about it, I never had a chance to really go to a celebration, even eat the food.”

Naomi Gorero, the president of ASA and a senior sociology major, said that Lunar New Year is considered one of the biggest celebrations in many Asian cultures and it also has great meaning for many members of the organization.

“I personally celebrate it in my family, and a lot of the e-board members celebrate this holiday as well and so it’s a great way to incorporate what we celebrate and share it with other people and show the significance of Asian holidays,” Gorero said.

The main goal throughout the two-month process of planning the event was educating students about the history, culture and importance of this holiday.

“So I think that’s like one of the biggest purposes of Lunar New Year is we try to create a space where everyone could feel safe, but also be represented,” Gorero said.

The president said that performing last year in front of a large crowd was nerve-wracking for her, so it was fun to see professionals do it this year.

“I haven’t seen … a lion dance performance in such a long time, so it’s bringing a lot of nostalgia for me,” Gorero said.

Colby Chung, a senior in the physician assistant program, has gone to this event for years. Coming from a Chinese family, Chung said he wanted more people to know about Lunar New Year traditions.

“I talked to some of my friends in college here and they know nothing about it, so I do find it fun and interesting to see other people react to the kinds of traditions that we do,” Chung said.

Chung added that Lunar New Year is a time for community, and everyone gets to have a meal together. 

“Every single time I come (to the event), I … sit at a random table and I get to meet new people, and I think that’s a good thing,” Chung said.

After taking an exam, Krisztina Buzas, a graduate molecular and cell biology student, said she wanted to have a celebratory dinner at the event.

“I thought (the performance) was great, it was nice to see different cultural perspectives,” Buzas said. “I haven’t seen a performance like this before and it was really cute.”

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