The Year of the Snake rang in with a big celebration at the main campus of DePaul University in Lincoln Park. From lion dance, songs, to games and raffle drawings, a variety of festival activities cheered over 600 students, faculty, and participants from the local community, accompanied with a feast of Chinese food.
I was quite impressed by the turnout and the enthusiasm at the celebration. Among the majority of Asians sitting at the large round tables, each decorated with a hand-made paper money which symbolizes good fortune, were many Westerners and people from other ethnic backgrounds. The Chinese New Year celebration became a cross-cultural get together that enhanced interaction and connection among people without borders.
Snake is the 6th animal in the Chinese zodiac of 12. It meant this year, starting on Feb. 10, is a year of stability and progress, with attention to details. Snake is regarded as enigmatic, intuitive and refined.
The celebration of the Chinese New Year at DePaul was hosted by the University’s Chinese Studies Program and International Students Organization. Li Jin, professor and director of the Chinese language program, delivered a welcome statement that captured the spirit of the evening. The performances given by the students and some local community groups were amateur but fun. I particularly enjoyed the dance Peacock on the Tibetan Plateau and Dance of Flying Colors by the Huamulan Dance Troupe.
It was also fun to run into a few friends and watch one of a friend’s son, Aaron, work and perform on stage.
I’d like to thank and congratulate all the people and departments involved in putting together this well attended event. A friend, who was here last year, enjoyed it so much that she came again with her husband and son. Hope it will continue in the years to come.
Jian Ping, author of Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China, which has been developed into an award-winning film by Susan Morgan Cooper and is narrated by Jacqueline Bisset.