ASA hosts Lunar New Year celebration

Courtesy of ASA.

by Christiana Cates | staff writer

Feb. 28, 2022

The Asian Students Association (ASA) hosted a Lunar New Year Celebration on Feb. 10, 2022 in the Duquesne Union Ballroom.

There were multiple performances throughout the night, one in particular featured a traditional Lion Dance usually seen in traditional Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, which features multiple dancers adorned in a lion costume. The lion is reminiscent of Chinese culture and relates to themes of luck, similar to certain Chinese characters, and the color red is considered lucky in Chinese culture.

The dance in the Union Ballroom featured a lion with black and gold accents and had LED lit eyes which amused the audience, as it paraded and ran throughout the entire ballroom.

While entertaining and elaborate in nature, Lunar New Year provides more meaning to those who traditionally celebrate it across East and Southeast Asia.

“It symbolizes prosperity and togetherness. That’s completely our goal with ASA, this past year we’ve been trying to revamp this organization to be as inclusive of everyone, and to ensure that our Asian students on campus feel empowered and that they have a place where they belong,” said ASA Public Relations Coordinator Talha Lone.

The ballroom was enveloped in draping paper lanterns that were painted in a variety of colors and red tassels.

Earlier in the evening, a performance group from the University of Pittsburgh called Pitt Wushu,  the Chinese martial/performance art group performed an elaborate Wushu routine with faux spears as well as hand and body movements in unison. The performers had Chinese traditional garb worn for martial arts in blue, yellow and pink.

The celebration amassed a great deal of students filling out every one of the large round tables in the Union Ballroom.

A food table in the back featured various cultural dishes prepared by Duquesne University’s food catering service: Parkhurst. Some foods included vegetable and pork dumplings, sweet and sour chicken, mixed vegetables and noodles where students went to throughout the night. A drink known as Bubble Tea was featured at the event. It is popular all over Asia but originating in Taiwan and contains Tapioca Pearls known as Boba.

While waiting for the event to progress, students at each table had the opportunity to make Origami: Japanese paper creations with QR code tutorials.

“Lunar New Year is a perfect time to have a family reunion…it’s also a time for me to embrace and maintain my cultural values,” said ASA Event Coordinator Mikey Nguyen.

Nguyen said he was overjoyed when seeing the students attending the event and gather. In spirit of the event, he wore a traditional blue outfit with embroidered details known as an Ao Dai in Vietnam.

“The point of Lunar New Year for me is to keep family traditions alive as each generation goes on,” said Freshman nursing major Ava Lee.

Lee added she it’s hard sometimes to keep tradition intact and overall, she enjoys spending time with family to celebrate her culture.

After the performances, students were able to participate in teams to win various prizes: such as gift baskets with Asian snacks and plush toys. The event was a Kahoot trivia session about Asian culture, each group was able to name themselves and check their stats on the leaderboard on the projector in the front of the ballroom. The crowd was joyous, competitive and cheerful as the event had gone on.

Each of the ASA staff hosted a table to play games after the Kahoot session, where students lined up to win raffle tickets for prizes towards the end of the celebration.

“Most of the time I can’t make it home to celebrate since I am in school.” said John Yan. The same sentiment was shared throughout the night as students were able to gather together at school, which made it special for the students involved.

The Lunar New Year Celebration in the Union Ballroom attracted students of all backgrounds to celebrate and learn more about Asian Culture.