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China club shares traditions

Photo Credit: MELISSA STEPHAN / Email

The China club and Friday Nights Underground collaborated to celebrate the Chinese New Year on Friday night in the CMU ballroom.

Visitors learned about the Chinese culture from booths circling the room. Activities at these booths included writing messages on tags for the wishing tree, a tea ceremony and calligraphy.

One booth taught guests basic phrases in Chinese such as “Xin Nian Kuai Le” which is the Chinese phrase for “Happy New Year.”

The Chinese Zodiac marks 2012 the year of the dragon, which is considered the luckiest year in the Chinese Zodiac.

Authentic Chinese food was served in addition to rice cakes available on every table.

The entire China club singing “Welcome to Beijing,” a song which was performed at the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, began the evening.

Acts continued with music played on traditional instruments, a funny skit which highlighted the confusion Americans sometimes have with foreign names, a chopsticks competition and kung fu.

Danielle Nickolauson, the China club president, said their main goal for the evening was to help the campus understand what a Chinese New Year is, while celebrating the international students.

“They don’t get to spend this time with their families when they’re here,” she said. “This is the same kind of celebration that Americans would go home to celebrate with their families.”

There were smiles and laughter all around the room during the celebration.

“I like the culture clubs on campus. I’m not yet part of the China club, but I’m part of Korea and Japan club,” said freshman Sarah Rich, who acted in a skit. “I’ve got friends in the China club, however, and that’s how I was asked to help with the performance tonight.”

“We started planning in December,” Neo Thurston, a committee member of After Dark and Friday Nights Underground said. “We did our part, China club did their part, and then we brought it all together in final meetings.”

“Friday Nights has been so accommodating,” Nickolauson said about preparation for the celebration. “There were things just today that we threw at them and it worked out.”

China club members felt they successfully entertained and educated people who came to the celebration.

“They are so passionate about bringing their culture here,” Nickolauson said. “They want to show that no matter how diverse their country has become, they always revert back to their family and their culture.”

BY MELINDA HEYING
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