Greenlee students celebrate Chinese New Year


Liz Berger/Iowa State Daily

In prep for the Chinese New Year celebration taking place Feb. 7, a dancer practices her presentation of a traditional dance that will be performed.

David Gerhold

A unique cultural experience: that’s what Chinese students of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication promise for their own take on Chinese New Year from 3:30-5:30 p.m. today in 172 Hamilton Hall.

In honor of the “Year of the Horse,” Greenlee students invite students and faculty members to join them in their celebration of an old Chinese tradition.

“We celebrate our holidays based on the lunar calendar, which is based on when farmers cultivate, grow and harvest,” said Gang Han, assistant professor at the Greenlee school.

According to the lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year starts on Jan. 31. Each year is represented by a particular animal from the Chinese Zodiac.

“This year it’s going to be the Year of the Horse, which signifies power, victory and energy,” Han said.

The Chinese Student and Scholars Association already celebrated Chinese New Year last Sunday. However, the celebration at Greenlee has its own tradition.

“More than half of the students here in Greenlee are Chinese,” Han said. “This is an opportunity to get a taste of Chinese culture while being among colleagues and friends. It’s East meets West.”

Shan Luo, second-year graduate student in journalism and mass communication said that they prepared a variety of food, performances and games for everyone who decides to attend.

“We will have Chinese poetry recitals, dancing performances and games revolving around the horse and what it signifies,” Luo said.

She said she is going to make a Tangyuan, a traditional Chinese snack made of sticky rice for the Chinese New Year celebration.

A change to the last three celebrations of the past will be the presentation of three videos during the event.

“One of them is a compilation of students and faculty members saying Happy New Year in Chinese or their native language,” Luo said. “Another video introduces the horse and the background of the tradition, while the third is a review of the last three years.”

For Wen Wang, third-year graduate student in journalism and mass communication, Chinese New Year is a good time for family reunion, relaxing and hanging out with friends.

“I’ve also celebrated American New Year as well,” Wang said. “I’ve got no problem with that, I’m happy to join my American friends in their own celebration.”

In addition to the program, Wang said they set up a window display in front of the seminar room to showcase Chinese culture.

“This year’s theme is Chinese tea culture,” Wang said. “We displayed several tea pots and different types of Chinese tea.”

For the new year, Luo and Wang said they have very grounded personal wishes. Luo said she really hopes to find a job while Wang wishes to be accepted into a PhD program.

“I hope the year of the horse is going to be a happy and prosperous year for everyone,” Han said.