Chinese New Year Gala considered success

Tuesday, Feb. 21, the Chinese Student Organization hosted a Chinese New Year Gala in the GUC Banquet Halls. The event included free Chinese food, prizes and performances featuring skits, traditional Chinese song and dance and American music. The event celebrated 2012 as the year of the dragon according to the Chinese zodiac.

The evening started off with a video montage of Chinese New Year greetings from UNA faculty, staff and students. This was followed by a welcome message from President Cale, thanking everyone for their participation.

Mein Bowl and Sodexo provided the meal, featuring Chinese foods such as rice, sesame chicken and egg drop soup. The evening also included door prizes sponsored by the UNA bookstore, such as travel mugs, stuffed lions and more.

Chinese Student Organization member Nancy Wang said the group began preparing for the event at the beginning of this semester. The group is comprised of about 15 students. They created two videos, wrote skits, practiced traditional and original music, and advertised the event through GUC window paintings and UNAPortal announcements.

“Last year we had about 350 people, and this year seems pretty similar,” Wang said.

One traditional performance was the peacock dance set to the tune, “Deep in Bamboo Grove,” performed by student Jinzi Bai.

“The peacock dance is like ballet; most girls begin to learn it when they are little,” Wang said.

Wang said the celebration came at a significant time.

“In China, we usually celebrate the New Year for one month, and today was the last day of that month,” Wang said “Tomorrow will be Feb. 2 in the Chinese calendar.”

All but one of the evening’s hosts were Chinese students, with the exception being UNA junior Daniel Lorick, a business management major. Lorick is in his third semester of Chinese classes at UNA.

“I started taking Chinese because I thought it would complement my business degree,” Lorick said.

He participated in the 2011 Chinese spring festival, but this was his first year co-hosting. He was invited to do so by his teacher, Zhang Lin.

“I got involved about two weeks ago and was given my script for tonight, and we had a big practice last night,” Lorick said.

Wang said the event went well.

“It think it was successful,” Wang said “It was the same as we imagined it.”