Chinese Lunar New Year of the Horse Celebration Successfully Held by the Confucius Institute at Pace University

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Pace University [Time]    2014-02-24 09:38:23 

On the afternoon of February 2, over 700 guests attended the gala held by the Confucius Institute at Pace University in the Michael Shimmer Center in lower Manhattan to celebrate the coming New Year of the Horse. This was the 4th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration hosted by the Confucius Institute at Pace University, and the annual celebration has already become not only a platform to showcase Chinese culture but a new-year carnival for Asians as well as people of various ethnic backgrounds. The attendees included Sri Lankan Ambassador Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona, member of the Chinese Language Group of the UN Dr. He Yong, Dean of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Herrmann, and Directors of the Confucius Institute at Pace University Dr. Niu Weihua and Dr. Zhu Min.

Besides the Confucius Institute at Pace University, the celebration was co-organized by the CSSA, the NYCOS and the United Nations Singers, all of them bringing different wonderful performances to the audience, particularly the biggest contributor the CSSA. The celebration was hosted by Marcus Newbury, an Australian young man with fluent Chinese, and Wang Jing, a Chinese girl speaking excellent English.

At 12:00, the Confucius Institute held a number of activities for the guests in the reception hall of the Michael Shimmer Center to display Chinese culture, which attracted a great many people. The teachers from the Confucius Institute graphically explained the rules of Chinese chess, go and mahjong and displayed traditional Chinese calligraphy. Some children got amazed by the interesting paper-cutting and wanted to have a try. Traditional Chinese refreshments such as dumplings and dim sum were also served. Many audiences said that they would sign up for the Chinese language and culture courses to be opened by the Confucius Institute in spring after experiencing in person the charm of Chinese culture.

At 1 p.m., the celebration officially began with the traditional Chinese Lion Dance. Professor Herrmann, Dean of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, delivered a speech to welcome and send his new-year greetings to all the guests and audience present. The first show was a Chinese song Kangding Love Song by the teachers and students from the Chinese song class of the Confucius Institute at Pace University, which sounded so beautiful though they had begun their practice only twelve hours before. The dancing children merrily sang Gongxi Facai (May you be happy and prosperous), pushing the atmosphere into a climax. Fishing Boat in the Sunset played with piano and violin fully demonstrated the beauty of the combination of Western musical instrument and traditional Chinese music. Exotic belly dance and the comic crosstalk I Am a Superstar won rounds of applause, and then a vibrant hip-hop song in New York style let the audience feel the joy brought by the cultural diversity.

Peking Opera has always been in the repertoire of the annual celebration. This year Tong Xiaoling, a very famous Peking Opera actress, performed Farewell My Concubine on stage and made a strong impression on the audience. Also, the teachers and students from the Taiji Class, led by the “Taiji Prince” Chen Sitan and his wife Lin Xu, performed Taiji Boxing and Taiji Dance. All the students performed very professionally although they had only six classes before the show. These shows made the audience more interested in the courses offered by the Confucius Institute.

The gala ended with the performance given by the United Nations Singers. Performers from different countries in their own ethnic costumes sang three songs including the famous Chinese song Jasmine. Their exquisite singing skills and spectacular harmony pushed the whole gala to a climax.

During the gala, Ambassador Kohana and other guests randomly chose some viewers as the “lucky ones”, and the “first-prize lucky viewers” were chosen by Directors of the Confucius Institute Niu Weihua and Zhu Min. Director Niu briefly introduced the achievements made by the Confucius Institute over the past year.

The audience was impressed by the beautiful songs of the United Nations singers at the end of the gala. On the occasion of the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Horse, friends from different countries and fields gathered together, presenting wonderful performances to joyfully embrace the upcoming spring. Just as Mr. Fei Xiaotong once said, “Appreciate the culture of others as do to one's own, and the world will become a harmonious whole!”