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Chinese New Year Snakes its way in with China Night

Zak Porter / The Arbiter

Chinese program students broke cultural barriers by “fusing” traditional Chinese music with Scottish bagpipes. China Night also had other cultural contributions, including breakdancing and the Korean hit song
Gagnam Style.

Students and community members crowded the Jordan Ballroom to celebrate Chinese New Year on Monday, Feb. 11. Guests and performers experienced Chinese culture through traditional buffet style food and ancient to modern singing and

With Feb. 10 starting the Year of the Snake, China Night offered one of the 15 nights of festivities to honor the “Spring Festival.”

Traditionally centered around the color red, paper lanterns, envelopes and fireworks, the Chinese Club adorned the ballroom with red lanterns and other decorations.

Club member Samantha Lee, junior marketing major, explained Chinese New Year is a big deal within Chinese culture.

Lee said the new year symbolizes a new beginning with good luck and good feelings.

“I really hope that people can get in touch with the Chinese culture and see Chinese dance and music and get a little taste of Chinese food,” Lee said.

One student said it was exactly the experience they got had.

“It was interesting,” said Alicia Allmer, junior graphic design major. “I had fun getting to try some food, see some actual Chinese people from the country that weren’t all born here, seeing different acts and some culture. I haven’t been part of a New Year’s festival so it was cool to see that in person.”

According to December 2012 graduate Aubrey Brinton, multi-ethnic studies major, Idaho boasts a Chinese history not many people are familiar with. In 1870, twenty percent of Idaho’s population was Chinese (a percentage only rivaled by California). By 1930, only about one percent of Idaho’s population was Chinese.

Brinton said after her visit to China with her father, Chinese culture claimed a special place in her heart, and since then she has been involved with Asian cultural activities on campus, including
China Night.

“I just want to show people what China has to offer,” Brinton said. “It brings the Chinese community together. Every year so much of the Chinese community floods in here and they see each other. It’s cool to see the Chinese community.”


********Side Bar: Chinese Horoscope***********

One Chinese folk story of the Zodiac tells of a race that decided the order of the zodiac animals in the 12 year cycle. The cunning snake is said to have hitched a ride on the horse’s hoof to the finish when it lept off, scared the horse, and claimed sixth place. Snake babies (those born in 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, and 1989) are described as being smart, charming, seductive and at times deceptive. Those born in a snake year are also said to be efficient and have good organizational skills.