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Community, students celebrate Chinese New Year

ROBERT HUDSON

There was no snow to stop the 2010 Chinese New Year Celebration this time, as it was rescheduled from last Friday due to the weather.

This year’s celebration was sponsored by the Confucius Institute at Troy University and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association.

“The Confucius Institute promotes Chinese culture and Chinese language,” said Dr. Xu, the director of the Confucius Institute at Troy University. “And it helps Americans understand what Chinese culture is.”

There are more than 282 Confucius Institutes in 87 countries, but the institute in Troy is the only one in Alabama.

“Chinese New Year is significant in China,” Xu said. “The people gather together like a family.”

“So, families work together,” she said. “They come from everywhere to come back home to say hello to mom, hello to grandparents.”

Xu said that Chinese students came from all Troy campuses to celebrate through song and dance.

“Students came from Troy and they came from Montgomery, they came from Dothan,” she said. “So, you can see we celebrate together.”

Troy Vice Chancellor of global campus Earl Ingram, also emphasized the importance of the Chinese New Year to the Chinese people.

“It’s like Christmas and Thanksgiving wrapped up in one in terms of family,” Ingram said. “They go into about a 10 day holiday period.”

Ingram said that the university has had Chinese students for around 10 years and that the university celebrates the event to help Chinese students feel comfortable at the university.

Ingram said that the university is proud to sponsor the event, which he described as a festive celebration with food, family, dancing and song.

The event featured songs and dances celebrating Chinese culture, love and family. There were also performances inspired by other cultures, including two Korean songs, Hip-Hop inspired dance routines and a rap song in Chinese.

There was also a performance by 10 Chinese children who have been adopted by several families in Dothan. The children sang a Chinese children’s song called “Clapping Hands.”

The performers included Chinese students who attend Troy University as apart of the school’s international program and a song by Troy’s Introduction to Mandarin II class, which was comprised of Chinese and American students.

Those in attendance were served authentic Chinese food.

The event was attend by people from all around the world and the community.

Liz Dowe, a broadcast journalism major from Montgomery, said that this was her first time attending the celebration and that it was a great experience that she would love to enjoy in again in the future.

“It’s been exciting,” Dowe said. “It’s a great opportunity for American students to experience another culture.”

Jack Wilson, a political science major from Eastport, Maine, said that he came to the event to see another culture.

“It really nice to hear the music,” he said.

Li, a Chinese MBA general management major, said it’s a great tradition to celebrate Chinese New Year and an opportunity to make new friends.

“Everyone creates union, come together and make friends and say hello,” Li said.

Troy English Composition teacher, Shannon Thompson, said she came to cheer on her students.

“It has been wonderful,” she said. “We have gotten the chance to see our students perform.”

Thompson said that she attended two years ago and plans to attend again in the future.

“I’m just so proud of Troy, that we have such a thing,” Thompson said.

Jessica Dong, an accounting major, said that this is the fourth time she’s attended the celebration.

“It’s great,” she said. “Everything is great, the show, the dancers, the singers.”

The celebration closed with a song that highlights one of the main focuses of the Chinese New Year; a group singing of a song called “We’re Beloved Family.”