This past Saturday evening, Fairfield students and community members gathered to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Tiger. The event, produced by the Asian Student Association (ASA), was focused on promoting diversity and demonstrating some of the interesting and unique aspects of Chinese New Year celebrations. One of the ASA’s biggest events of the year, the Chinese New Year celebration has been a tradition for the past twenty years.  Although the actual Chinese New Year fell on February 14, ASA pushed the event back in order to avoid its coinciding with other campus events and the long President’s Day weekend.

Rene Concepcion ’10, the president of ASA, was happy with the event overall and felt that attendees enjoyed the celebration. Yet although the event was a success, Concepcion noted a few shortfalls.

“Sodexo, which provided the food prep and warming equipment arrived late,” Concepcion noted, which delayed the beginning of the event. Additionally, “turnout was lower than expected – there were more attendees during previous years,” Concepcion added. “Unfortunately, it seems that some people are apathetic toward learning about other countries and cultures.”

Attendees had the opportunity to play games such as ping-pong and Chinese checkers, and to learn how to make their own lanterns. Food was provided by Hunan Pavilion, a local Chinese restaurant in Fairfield. The Fairfield Chinese Academy helped to provide materials and assisted in producing workshops to teach attendees how to create their own eggrolls and dumplings. The live performances were definitely the highlight of the event, and helped to illustrate the richness of Chinese culture. Performers from the Shaloin Wushu Center and the Fairfield Chinese Academy demonstrated Chinese martial arts and taekwondo in addition to singing Chinese choral pieces and playing a Chinese gourd flute.

The ASA Chinese New Year celebration brought a new element of diversity and culture to campus, helping to demonstrate unique elements of New Year celebrations to students and community members. Happy Chinese New Year!

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