Chinese Feast Marks New Year

Students Participate in Cultural Festival

A pair of colorful dancing lions and myriad other traditional Chinese performances helped the roughly 250 celebrants gathered in Lowell House dining hall last night welcome the year of the rat.

The Chinese New Year's celebration was organized by the Chinese Students Association (CSA) and included a banquet, a raffle, the performances and a dance that was held in Kirkland House dining hall immediately following the dinner.

Outgoing CSA Co-President Jocelyn C. Thein '97 said the event was a "spectacular" success.

"[The event took] a lot of hard work from old and new officers," Thein said. "We couldn't have done it without their...dedication."

The celebration was kicked off with a 13-course buffet that included roast duck, Kung Pao chicken and orange-flavored beef.


Once the diners finished their portions, the performers took center stage.

Elementary school students from the Kwong Kuo Chinese School presented Chinese songs on hammered dulcimers and performed several traditional dances, including a dance with "iron fans."

The Shaolin Kung Fu school held a martial arts demonstration and the Asian American Association's Dance Troupe performed a ribbon dance.

Christine J. Lay '97 played "The Worshiper," a contemporary piece of Chinese music on a zither (gu zheng), a wooden harp-like instrument that is laid horizontally on a wooden stand.

A member of the MIT Chinese Students' Club then displayed several acrobatic moves with a Chinese YoYo, a set of two sticks connected by a string that help balance a wooden barbell.

The night's grand finale came when a pair of lions, each manned by two dancers from the MIT Chinese Students' Club, twisted and winded through the dining hall, to the stage.

At the evening's outset, David T. Lee, director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston, said he was glad his organization played a role in sponsoring the celebration of Chinese culture.

"We are pleased that my organization could be a benefactor of this event," Lee said. "All of us have respect in the heritage and culture of the next century China and Chinese culture will play an important role in the world civilization."

Lee concluded his remarks with a New Year's blessing.

"Have a very prosperous year of the rat," he said.

Thien and fellow outgoing co-president Eugene Chiu '97 closed the evening by announcing the new CSA executive board.

David J. Tsai '97 and Alex H. Cho '97 were named co-presidents for the upcoming year

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