LWA Antics: Delighting in a new Chinese year
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As the show wrapped up, the emcees called raffle numbers for several prizes. Winners walked away with hand-painted scrolls, lanterns and fans. For the grand finale, all of the celebration’s performers gathered onstage, the lights dimmed, before the opening bars of the international pop-hit “Gangnam Style” burst forth accompanied by a display of disco lights. The audience went wild as the performers galloped to the familiar dance, before segueing into another, equally infectious tune. The energetic music had the whole room dancing and waving their hands, and ended in thunderous applause. The ebullient mood continued through the rest of the week.
With all of the singing and dancing of our school celebration, it was easy to forget that the heart of Chinese New Year lies somewhere deeper. When Clark Jiang was asked about the defining characteristics of the holiday, he rattled off an inventory of dishes consumed at the New Year’s dinner, hitting virtually every farm animal in his list. Also popular in the celebrations are the red envelopes of money given to children, as well as the fireworks that light up the evening skies.
However, when asked about his personal favorite part of the New Year, Clark smiled shyly and admitted that it was not the money or the gastronomic exorbitance which he most enjoyed, but the quality time he spends with not only his immediate family but also grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
For Clark, Chinese New Year is a time to put all of the problems of the previous year behind him and to start the year afresh. For everyone else, even those not personally celebrating, the draw of freshly made dumplings can be just as satisfying.