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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student

arts community events iu auditorium performances

IU Chinese Students and Scholars Association hosts an evening of traditions for the Lunar New Year

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IU students and the people of Bloomington gathered Sunday evening to celebrate the year of the dragon at the “Dragon Brings Fortune, Together We Paint the New Spring” Lunar New Year gala hosted by the IU Chinese Students and Scholars Association. The event, held in the IU Auditorium, was open to the public and free for all to attend.  

The evening included performances of various cultural arts, such as dance, rap and piano solos as well as several raffle giveaways throughout the night, including different video game consols. Goody bags with cultural snacks, such as lychee jelly, Konjac Shuang and stickers were available for attendees.   

In the auditorium's lobby, various tables were set up with photo backdrops, activities like paper-cutting and charity sales. The IU chapter of the Dream Corps organization was invited by IUCSSA to conduct fundraising. The group promotes Chinese education equality and supports summer volunteer programs in rural China for Dream Corps International. This was the organization’s first time collaborating for the gala, but DCIU has worked with IUCSSA for events in the past.  

Jinzhi Wang, IU sophomore and DCIU officer, moved to the United States 11 years ago and strives to keep the tradition of Lunar New Year alive.  

“Even if we don’t celebrate (the Lunar New Year) here, we want all the international students to feel at home” Wang said. “When I stepped in here, I felt like I was back in China. I felt like I was home. We want the Chinese community to feel happy with people that relate to them.”  

In China, the Lunar New Year is recognized as a public holiday and celebrated for seven days. It is one of the most important holidays in the Chinese culture.  

“We have seen white Americans, Indian Americans, African Americans – a lot of different people came tonight,” Wang said. “This has been a great way for us to show our world.”  

Susan Tang, IU senior and DCIU president, moved to the US when she was 12, where she attended middle and high school in Columbus, Ohio. Tang said this event was a chance to share and celebrate culture. 

“For international students who are away from their family, this is one of the happiest of times, but it is also one of the saddest of times. We get home sick” Tang said. “We also want diversity. We want to invite other cultures of students to celebrate with us, just like we do for Christmas.”  

The gala was attended and appreciated by international students from other countries, including IU freshmen Manya Bhatia and Trisha Chandra who came to support friends in performance groups and the IUCSSA.  

Bhatia is an international student from New Delhi, India.  

“I believe it's great to be educated about everybody’s culture, so we’re not stereotypical towards anybody in any way,” Bhatia said. “This experience as a whole has taught me a little bit more and given an insight into what Chinese culture is.”  

The girls were standing outside of the auditorium alongside other attendees toting their complimentary goody bags.  

Chandra was born in India but lived in Qatar for 14 years before coming to IU as an international student.  

“I think these kinds of events give us community,” Chandra said. “It makes us feel at home even when we’re far from home.”

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