Roanoke College hosted the 5th annual Chinese New Year’s festival in the Wortman Ballroom on January 31st. This event was hosted by the History and Modern Language Departments with volunteers from all over campus. The event was a big success. Every chair was full and even after the festivities started, students, faculty, staff, and people from the Roanoke community kept coming in. At the end of the night, I heard nothing but good reviews from all those who attended.
The event did start a bit later than originally scheduled and to entertain the guests, they put a video on the projector until the event could officially begin. The night started out with Dr. Stella Xu who made a short speech and then she turned the stage over to Pearl Fu, a goodwill ambassador from Local Colors, a multicultural awareness group. A few student presenters, Mathilda Nassar, Toby Emerson, Kathleen Ouyang, Adrian Gillem, and Bert Miller, gave talks as those in attendance were given the chance to get food provided by The Red Palace restaurant in Roanoke. Each of these students had traveled abroad in Asia, or was preparing to go, and shared their experiences with everyone there. They were all very passionate about their travels, the culture, and the subjects that they studied while over there.
Later, several of the language classes put on a show. The Japanese class danced to a recent Japanese pop song and both the Chinese and Japanese classes sang in their learned language. Later, Professor Rong Chang and a student performed a traditional fan dance and Dr. Stella Xu held a short trivia session, calling questions to the crowd and giving out prizes.
“It was fun to perform. It was a lot of work inside and outside of class, but worth it when we actually performed,” said Emily Waskiewicz, ’13.
The final event was a martial arts performance and folk dance session presented by David White’s Shao-lin Dragons, a group from Roanoke. The most theatrical part of their performance was the Chinese Lion dance. It delighted children and adults alike.
Then, on February 2nd, the Taubman Museum in Roanoke hosted another festival, similar to our own. The event was larger, as they had more room to host performers and guests alike, and many Roanoke students performed here as well. The Chinese New Year celebration at Roanoke is a yearly event, so if you missed this time around, you have a chance to go again.
“I went to both events and, though they were similar, they were both a lot fun. The riddles were by far my favorite part,” Waskiewicz said.