Chinese New Year celebration comes to campus

The year of the dragon has arrived, and with it comes the University of Miami’s first Chinese New Year celebration.

The Chinese Students & Scholars Association (CSSA) and the Asian American Students Association (AASA) will host the inaugural celebration on Monday.

“People here don’t really know about New Year’s celebrations except for what they see on TV or the Internet,” CSSA treasurer Xiaochen Tong said. “So this event is a platform to show them the foods we eat, costumes we have and sports we play. In China, food brings family members together, and since everyone cooks a dish, we all get together to eat.”

Interactive booths will be set up on the UC Patio. Students will be able to watch calligraphy masters at work, experiment with Sichuan Opera Masks and experience Chinese knotting, the colorful artwork that can currently be seen in the UC.

Traditional snacks like dumplings, buns and bubble tea will be served, and the dining halls will feature a Chinese menu for the day. Students will also receive traditional red envelopes filled with paper yen.

The main performance will start at 7 p.m. at Hecht and Stanford Residential Colleges. A dragon dance team will lead students from Hecht and Standford to the UC patio, AASA public relations coordinator Jacinta Yong said. UM President Donna E. Shalala will speak at 7:30 p.m. on the UC Patio, and the stage performances will begin shortly after.

The first performance will be the Lion Dance, a traditional way to begin any new celebration. It will be followed by a Chinese yo-yo demonstration, a showcase of Asian and Latin culture by Miami Ballroom, and a presentation of the Cho Lay Fut style of Kung Fu by the John Wai Kung Fu Academy.

Many of the decorations that will be used were flown in from China by several AASA and CSSA members who went home for winter break.

“When we talked about putting this event together, I got really excited and ready to create this vision,” Yong said. “ The new year is a time to be with friends, eat a lot and just wish everyone well.”

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Ashley Martinez
Ashley Martinez is a senior majoring in journalism and psychology, which have sharpened her people-watching skills. She has worked as a staff writer, copy editor, assistant editor and is now the Edge arts and entertainment editor at The Miami Hurricane. She serves as the president of UM's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Her work has been featured in The Hurricane, Distraction Magazine, The Communique, Gables Home Page and The Miami Herald. When she's not working on a story, she loves going to the theatre and singing show tunes.