For the Mandarin translation of this article, click here.
Written by Elias Chane
Photographed by Sarah Frivold
新年快乐 (Xīnnián kuàilè) (Happy New Year)! Last Wednesday, MA was treated to a Lunar New Year festival organized by the Mandarin Club and the Asian Culture Club. Treasurer of the Asian Culture Club, Katherine De Saram, said: “There is a very low percentage of Asian students [at M-A]and, especially with the pandemic, there’s just been a lot of hate [towards the Asian community].”
Second year Willona Chen said, “Lunar New Year is different from what New Year looks like in Western society. There are many traditions that come with the holidays, so we find it important to highlight them all.
Activities on the green at lunchtime included calligraphy, red envelope, Chinese checkers and craft stations. Most of the students came for the boba and chicken popcorn, but stayed for the festivities. All proceeds from boba and popcorn chicken sales went to Stop AAPI Hatean organization that fights discrimination and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The performances were the highlight of the event. Chen and junior Quinn Follmer sang songs associated with the Lunar New Year. Freshman Monika Pataki and junior Adrian Deutscher-Bishop enjoyed the face-changing traditional Sichuan opera very much. Deutscher-Bishop said, “The part I enjoyed the most was the face-changing opera. It was very cool. I have no idea how it’s done.
Chen said, “A lot of people stopped and there were certain small crowds at each station. I think it was totally a success. She added that she wanted everyone to know that “the Asian community is here, and we are really happy to have a traditional festival.”