Happy New Year! Chinese New Year, that is. Each year many Asian countries come together to celebrate the New Year. In honor of this holiday, Albion College also decided to celebrate.
On Feb. 7, the Kellogg Center came to life with Asian culture for the annual Chinese Lunar New Year’s party. Hosted by the Asian Awareness Group, guests enjoyed Chinese food, a variety of crafts and entertainment provided by both student speakers and professional dancers.
“A couple of things I wanted to do before I graduate was experience new culture and attend different events,” said Wynter Pitts, Canton junior. “It’s a great experience, and the food is wonderful.”
The New Year is celebrated slightly differently in different countries. However, they all follow the same calendar. This New Year, starting on Feb. 10, is the year of the snake.
Traditionally, families also gather to feast in celebration of the Chinese New Year. The feast at Albion was provided by the award-winning Golden Gate Chinese restaurant in Ann Arbor. The Asian Awareness Group also brought in traditional Lion dancers for entertainment and Buddhist monks from the Lansing Buddhist center.
“The purpose of our club is to educate people that go to Albion and people from the community about Asian culture,” said Jessica Glazier, Troy sophomore and club member.
Attendees were also able to hear different personal stories from club members and volunteers about their experiences with the Lunar New Year. Erika Buckley, assistant director for global diversity, spoke about her New Years’ experience in a foreign country.
“I was in South Korea teaching English,” Buckley said. “There it’s called Seollal. We got about four days of work off. It is really awesome because I got to see how different groups celebrate different holidays.”
The various speakers at the event and the cultural crafts allowed guests to learn more about Asian culture in a fun and engaging way. The members tried to entertain the event guests with activities similar to those at club meetings.
“During our meetings, we would immerse ourselves in the Asian culture such as eating Asian food or learning how to do the Gangnam Style dance,” said Georgina Ingrid, Indonesia sophomore and club member.
Each semester the Asian Awareness Group hosts an event to share Asian culture with Albion. With a successful New Year’s party behind them, they can start planning for their fall event Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.