Asian American Association celebrates New Year
Alyssa Lyon | Thursday, February 12, 2015
Students can play games, enjoy food and try their luck for the new year at the Asian American Association’s (AAA) annual casino night in the Coleman Morse Lounge on Friday in celebration of the Lunar New Year, lasting from 9-11 p.m.
Crystal Chen-Goodspeed, junior and treasurer of the AAA, said the event will give students the chance to compete for tickets and enter into the raffle for prizes, which include a Kindle and Beats by Dre headphones.
“There is free reign to play any game [visitors] want … There will be Asian-themed goodies and red envelopes during the course of the event to really convey the many messages of Lunar New Year,” Chen said. “At the end of the night, everyone will submit their raffle tickets and drawing will commence to distribute prizes.”
Khanh Mai, junior and vice president of AAA, said the games will incorporate a range of meanings and traditions.
“Some of the games are seen as traditional to the respective culture, such as bau cua of Vietnam and mahjong of China. Others are more prototypical of casinos, like blackjack and poker,” Mai said.
“It is like your normal casino night with an Asian flair,” Chen-Goodspeed said.
According to Chen-Goodspeed, gambling and games are traditional celebrations of the Lunar New Year.
“A big part of the holiday is large family gatherings and gambling. It is believed that if you have good luck in gambling during the celebration, then you will have good luck for the remainder of the year,” Chen-Goodspeed said.
Mai said this event is important because it allows students to maintain their Lunar New Year traditions even while away from home.
“It’s important for ND students to celebrate partly because it may be a glimpse of home-away-from-home for them,” Mai said. “I know that my first time away from home during Lunar New Year was especially rough; I would equate it with not being home for Christmas.”
The AAA — who partnered with the Vietnamese Student Association, Korean Student Association, Taiwanese Student Association, Chinese Culture Society and Japan Club, as well as the multicultural commissioners from Siegfried, Pasquerilla West, McGlinn, Carroll and Breen-Phillips for the event — encourages all students to attend, even if they have never celebrated in the past.
“It’s always insightful to learn about different cultures and their own special way of seeing and celebrating the world,” Mai said.
Although celebrations of Lunar New Year vary around the world, the AAA hopes their casino night will encompass the core tradition of the holiday, Mai said.
“Families tend to gather in the days preceding Lunar New Year to indulge in family time and begin festivities; [Casino Night] plans to do the same. It’s time for us to spend with one another, and amidst the fun, think back on the year past and look forward to the future,” Mai said.
The entrance fee of $5 at the door gives each student 15 tickets. Additional tickets can be purchased if needed.