Spring Gala to bring Chinese culture to Iowa State


Emily Blobaum/Iowa State Daily

Students perform a traditional Chinese dragon dance during the Spring Festival Gala in the Memorial Union on Feb. 7. The annual event featured a variety of acts including comedy skits, dances, and musical performances. 

Mary Pautsch

The Chinese New Year is coming to Iowa State thanks to the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA).

Sunday, the CSSA will host its annual Spring Gala.

The CSSA has been preparing for the event since September of last year. The association has about 80 members who have all been involved in the process, Snow Bai, president of the CSSA, said.

“They enjoy being able to be responsible for something that can make a difference in the community,” Bai said.

The Spring Gala will include singing, instrumental music, traditional dancing and other performances. It also will feature a dance group from the University of Iowa. Representatives from Iowa’s CSSA will also be in attendance.

This year will feature new events, as well, that the Spring Gala has not featured in the past. For example, gifts will be presented to the first couple hundred attendees. Cy will also be in attendance and have a booth set up for pictures with students.

“Upon arrival, we have wish cards and a Christmas tree,” Bai said. “The audience can come and write down their wishes on the cards to hang them on the tree.”

Bai said the Gala is a great event for Iowa State students who want to get to know Chinese culture, and for international students from China.

“This year we tried to make PowerPoint slides more useful to the non-Chinese speaking audience for them to understand,” she said.

Bai said she hoped the event will bring both American and Chinese students together. She said it is tradition in China to spend time with family during the new year.

Chinese families tend to get together and watch Chinese New Year celebrations on television. Bai said having a similar celebration to experience in person is a great way to have a good time while away from home.

“Spring festival is like Christmas for Chinese [people],” she said. “So I think by having a show to celebrate just like how they would when they are in China really brings us together.”

Above all, Bai can’t wait to see everybody having a good time at the Spring Gala while learning something new.

“I am looking forward to seeing people laugh and enjoy the show,” she said. “And I am also looking forward to seeing more people become more interested in Chinese culture.”

The CSSA said the event usually draws a full house, so if students want to attend, they should come right when the doors open at 6 p.m. The event will start at 7 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. Admission is free, but seating will be available on a first come, first serve basis.