Food, Fun Fill Plates at Chinese New Year Banquet

The Chinese New Year Banquet in Leverett Dining Hall on Friday night was not a place for the fainthearted. Chioma Duru '04 was one of many attendees who was hit by flying lettuce.

A capacity crowd of about 350 students came for an eleven-course meal, but the after-dinner entertainment put the slither in the Year of the Snake celebration.

This Chinese New Year celebration began with a traditional lion dance. A pair of lion dance teams slid dramatically through the crowd on their way to the stage. The lion dance troupe from MIT then performed the customary dance, and then added a unique signature to their performance.


As a sign of good fortune, the lions swallowed a head of lettuce and then regurgitated the chewed remnants. These lion dancers, however, flung the shredded lettuce far into the dining hall, much to the surprise of the crowd. "I've seen a lot of Chinese New Year parades and a lot of lion dances," said Mark Chen '04, who is from the San Francisco Bay area, "and this was about as entertaining as any of those."

The lion dance was followed by a showcase of Chinese arts. There were performances by the Asian American Dance Troupe, who performed a pair of traditional Chinese dances; the Taiwanese Cultural Society Chinese Yo-Yo Club, who demonstrated the Chinese yo-yo, a spinning wooden object that runs along a string held by both ends; and a zither player, Elaine Kwok '02.

The showstopper was a comedy act known as "Super Sunday." Based upon a popular television show in Taiwan, Super Sunday is a Telephone-like game that features a series of participants drawn from the crowd who try to mime a concept to one another.

As volunteers tried to enact "Primal Scream" and "Britney Spears", the act often brought loud laughter, and sometimes shock, from the audience.

Inevitably, the person at the far end of the line incorrectly guessed the concept being mimed.

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