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Community rings in Chinese New Year

Bridget Feeney | Thursday, January 26, 2012

Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame students rang in the Chinese New Year and celebrated the prevalent Chinese culture on both campuses Monday. In honor of the Year of the Dragon, Saint Mary’s College and the Center of Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) will host its annual China Night at 7:30 p.m this Saturday in O’Laughlin Auditorium.

Alice Siqin Yang, assistant director for Global Education at CWIL, said China Night is a valued tradition on campus.

“China Night is actually not new on Saint Mary’s campus,” she said. “It was held by both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame Chinese students first in 1967. I am glad that we are able to host it again after 50 years.”

Yang said China Night is designed to teach students and community members about other cultures, as well as entertain.

“It offers a platform for students and community people to learn more about Chinese culture,” Yang said.

Huyaling (Nora) Wang, a first year international student from China who helped CWIL plan the event, said China Night seeks to educate attendees.

“Our purpose (is to promote) the Chinese culture, share international exchange experiences and bring people a festival atmosphere,” she said.

Siqin Yang said CWIL planned several activities throughout the evening and transformed O’Laughlin Auditorium into a festival fit to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. She said the evening will include lantern riddle games, discussions on students’ study abroad experiences in China and performances from musicians and dancers at Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, concluding with a special present for attendees.

“All children and students will receive a red envelope, which is the traditional Chinese new year gift,” she said.

Following the performances, games and discussions, there will be a reception where traditional Chinese food will be served.

Wang said though China Night has a long history at the two schools, there were a few difficulties in planning the event.

“The biggest challenge (we had to deal with) was contacting lots of performers and finding some special decorations,” said Wang.

Siqin Yang said she agreed with Wang, but event planning proved successful in the end.

“Our preparation time is tight, but we have been working hard on the event and are confident that attendees will enjoy the show,” she said.

The event is free and open to the public.