Let me ask you a question, when do we celebrate New Year’s Eve? It is obvious that January 1st, is it? Not for all of us. Do you know that in some Asian countries like China, Vietnam, and Korea, our traditional Lunar New Year’s Eve is usually in early February? We celebrate New Year’s Eve at a different time because we use a Lunar Calendar, based on cycles of lunar phase. The origin of Lunar New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. This year, The Chinese Club organized a “Chinese Spring Festival” on February 5th 2011, bringing authentic Chinese Culture to Juniata. Let’s hear what our professors and students thoughts and feelings about this event:
Michiko Thwe ’14, international student from Myanmar:
It was so amazing! I was most impressed by the last song “Friends” performed by Chenhao Guan, Jin Wang and the President of the Chinese Club. Since they are all seniors, their performance was so moving. Chinese Spring Festival is a great chance for us to know more about the real Chinese culture. They are so amazing for organizing such a big and wonderful cultural event.
Mauricio Andi, exchange student from Ecuador:
I first thought I came here just to experience American culture. Actually, Juniata leads me from one surprise to another one. During my one year here, I have had golden chances to have multicultural experiences. Chinese Spring Festival this year was one of them. There was wonderful food and exciting performances. I felt like it was not only their New Year celebration but a moment to share our togetherness and happiness with everybody.
Vickie Author ’14, Lancaster, Pa.:
I enjoyed the festival very much. The atmosphere was calm and low-key, the food was delicious, yet kind of spicy, and the performances were very nice. My favorite performance was the piano song. It was very simple yet beautiful and the girl playing the song was very talented. I also really enjoyed the presentation on the purple clay pots because I love anything that has to do with ceramics. Next year it would be great to have a lot of the same things happening. I think it would be nice to see some other people present and perform as well.
Donglai Du ’12, China, president of Chinese Club:
To present a big-scale event like this, there are all kinds of things involved. In order to bring a true traditional atmosphere, we had to be very careful in decoration, choosing and practicing for performances, and even in selecting which food to be served. As the President of Chinese Club, and a senior as well, I am really thankful to professors, friends, faculties and staff that I met in Juniata for helping us organizing this event. It’s my last Chinese Spring Festival at Juniata and it was filled with happiness and beautiful memories. Seeing smiles on participants’ faces, I know that we were successful.
Jingxia Yang, lecturer in Chinese:
Chinese not celebrating the Spring Festival is like Americans not celebrating Christmas. For every Spring Festival in China, families get together and have banquets while watching all kinds of Spring Festival Galas on TV. For Chinese abroad, it’s even more important to cherish this feeling of togetherness and happiness. This year’s celebration was one of the best ever. The food was authentic and the performances were very memorable and touching. I could tell that our guests had a wonderful time and I’m sure they learned something new about Chinese culture. It is just great that Juniata College provides a lot of multicultural experiences and opportunities for the whole community.
~Thanh Nguyen’14, Juniata Online Journalist