Chinese Students Celebrate Lunar New Year with Gala on Campus


On February 5th, China celebrated its Lunar New Year and this year’s mascot was the year of the pig. For the Chinese, the Lunar New Year is the most important festival and it is the time for family reunions and for young people to receive red envelopes full of money. There is often a Gala to celebrate the New Year broadcast on China Central Television (CCTV). With this, people are treated to a talent show that features everything from music to comedy bits. So what about Chinese students here at Fort Hays State University who cannot be home for the festivities?

To make up for it, the FHSU Chinese Students’ and Scholars’ Association (CSSA) decided to host their own Gala at Beach Schmidt on Sunday, February 10th. Both students here at Fort Hays as well as locals with a pendant for Chinese culture and history were treated to a wide variety of talented acts. There were rap performances, comedy bits, K-Pop dance performances, piano ballads, and even traditional Chinese dances.

Lichi Qing, a student who performed a dance while wearing traditional Chinese clothing, spoke at length on how it felt to perform and share such a key piece of her culture with the Hays community.

“I think it is amazing because I never thought that there were a lot of students that could join us and give us some performances,” Qing said. “We have never found performances in the middle of Autumn. So, I think it’s amazing for us because I believe we had 13 performances.”

Interestingly enough, this was Lichi’s first time ever performing on stage for anyone in the United States or in China.

“I love dancing and I love classical Chinese culture, so I decided to dance for once and I think it’s more educational,” she said.

Yuanying Mi, on the other hand, was not a performer herself, but one of the announcers.

“It was tense and exciting because it was my first time celebrating the Spring Festival in a foreign country, but I expected to make foreign friends and to help them experience traditional Chinese culture and the festival,” Mi said.

However, being selected to be one of the announcers and having to speak into a microphone in front of people was arguably a daunting task.

“At first, I was a little nervous, but when I saw that the audience was so interactive, I was less nervous,” she said.

Serena Tianqi performed in a Korean-pop dance team.

“Chinese people watch the Spring Festival Gala every year, so we hosted the Gala here in the United States to spread the Chinese custom and make more people know about traditional Chinese culture,” Tianqi said.

Along with singing and speaking, dancing is arguably one of the most nerve-wracking tasks one could face on stage, but Serena said she did not feel this way.

“It was my honor to perform in front of all the people and it was my first time dancing on stage,” she said. “We wanted to do our best to share the happiness with people from all over the world.”

Overall, the show was exciting and should be welcomed by the Hays community as an opportunity to learn more about the world.

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