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College celebrates Chinese New Year

Katlyn Smith | Friday, February 8, 2008

Thursday marked the first day of the first lunar month – the most important holiday in China.

Saint Mary’s commemorated the event with China-themed events such as a cooking presentation with College President Carol Ann Mooney, and traditional Chinese foods served in the Dining Hall during dinner.

The final of the celebrations for the first day of the “Year of the Rat” was the College’s annual “China Night,” sponsored by the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Pacific Asian Islanders Club and Student Diversity Board. It featured traditional Chinese dances and musical performances.

Jingqui Guan, a first year international student and mistress of ceremonies, performed a peacock dance and “Phoenix Bamboo Under the Moonlight”? with a bawu, a customary Chinese instrument.

“I hope to show people in America more about Chinese culture and how we celebrate the New Year,” Guan said.

Sophomore Wenwen Bai also performed “Fishing Boat in the Sunset” with a guzheng, a guitar like instrument.

Saint Mary’s vice president and dean of faculty, Patricia Fleming, introduced the evening and recognized the college’s future partnership with Chinese educational facilities.

“China is a part of our students’ future,” Fleming said.

During the event, Marcia Rickard, Saint Mary’s art historian, discussed the new Chinese summer program at Creighton University.

“This is the beginning of a long collaboration,” Rickard said.

Many local organizations contributed to the New Year celebrations, including the South Bend Chinese Language School and the Granger Chinese Dance Company, who performed traditional ribbon and lion dances.

The Notre Dame Chinese band, Crystal Clear, also presented renditions of “Hey Jude” and “Hotel California.”

The band changed their self-entitled song “ND Girl” to “SMC Girl” to reflect the audience.

Other Saint Mary’s faculty members delivered poetry readings, and the night concluded with a traditional fashion show showcasing cultural garments.