Chinese students ring in Spring

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 4, 2003

All of the hard work paid off.

The Chinese Students Association put on a memorable evening Tuesday night as they celebrated the Spring Festival and shared parts of Chinese culture with neighbors from Troy and students from around the world.

Professors and international students were treated to everything but fireworks in the Adams Center as students sang traditional Chinese songs, played music and offered a cultural bridge to help cross Sino-American gaps in understanding.

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&uot;Usually, we would celebrate Chinese New Year, but since that was on Saturday, this is just a celebration of the spring, which is one of our most important festivals,&uot; said Penny Lai, a 19-year old TSU student from China.

Lai said she was enjoying her time in Alabama and said her favorite parts of Troy were the trees and grassy areas.

&uot;They are like gardens,&uot; she said.

Ting Ting Xu, 20, accompanied several of the performers on piano and demonstrated a rousing and upbeat tune that she described as a popular Chinese college song.

Under glowing red lights and decorations, visitors and dignitaries, including Vice President for Student Affairs Col. John Schmidt and Chancellor Jack Hawkins, were given a glimpse at some of the best and brightest from a country of over a billion people.

&uot;What a valuable addition to our campus these students are,&uot; Hawkins said. &uot;They bring a cultural diversity and excitement and a global perspective that are so valuable.&uot;

Hawkins said there are currently 125 Chinese students at TSU, making China the most well-represented country on campus.

Other highlights of the evening, in addition to the Chinese cuisine served, were a rousing Maoist song and the appearance of a masked pianist who attempted to stir some &uot;Confucian confusion&uot; into the evening's proceedings.

Stephen Stetson can be reached at