Confucius Institute at Cleveland State University holds 2015 Lunar New Year Celebration, the United States

[Source]    the Confucius Institute at Cleveland State University [Time]    2015-04-23 16:57:19 

On Feb. 28th, which was the tenth day of the first month in Chinese lunar calendar, the Confucius Institute at Cleveland State University (CSU) held the 2015 Lunar New Year Celebration at CSU. This celebration consisted of two grand artistic shows and an event of over ten Chinese culture experiencing activities. Lasting from 1 pm to 10 pm, this celebration attracted over 6,000 participants from Cleveland and nearby regions.

This celebration, sponsored by the Confucius Institute at CSU, was jointly organized by around ten institutions, including Asian Services In Action, Inc.; Chinese American Faculty and Staff Association (CAFSA) of Cleveland State University; Cleveland Asian Festival; Cleveland Contemporary Chinese Culture Association; Chinese Professionals and Entrepreneurs Association; Cleveland Public Library; and Westlake Chinese School.

Participants at the stand for traditional Chinese costumes

Traditional Chinese costumes of various dynasties

Some distinguished guests from CSU attended this celebration, including Dr. Anthony Yen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Confucius Institute at CSU; Mr. Jianping Zhu, Senior Vice Provost of Academic Affairs; Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences; Dean of the College of Graduate Studies; Director of Modern Languages Department; Director of the Department of Finance; Director of the Center for Urban Education; and the US and Chinese directors of the Confucius Institute. Mr. Yen and Mr. Zhu delivered their speeches, respectively. Both of them highly commended the achievements in popularizing Chinese culture by the Confucius Institute at CSU. Mr. Zhou Haigang, Director of the Confucius Institute, won the 2015 Distinguished Faculty and Staff Award by the Chinese American Faculty and Staff Association (CAFSA).

Splendid performances

At one o’clock in the afternoon, amid the merry and cheerful sounds of gongs and drums, the artistic performances officially began with the joyful dragon dance and lion dance. Lasting for over five hours, this celebration staged a total of around 50 spectacular programs by people from Cleveland and its nearby school districts and communities. Such a feast of Chinese culture and art offered a rare opportunity for local residents to experience the charm of Chinese culture, who all responded with continuous applause. The programs were of various types and brought the audience different kinds of enjoyment, such as the elegant and melodious Chinese folk music, the interesting Little Nezha, the vivid and expressive Peacock Dance, the cute and lovely Little Girl from the Village, the vigorous and energetic Serve the Country with Loyalty, the refreshing and pleasant dance of Miao ethnic group Water, the graceful Cheongsam Show, and the exceptional beautiful The Goddess Chang's Fly to the Moon. Throughout the two shows with such a variety of spectacular performances, the audience always responded with continuous applause and cheers.

The dance of Zang (Tibet) ethnic group

The Peacock Dance

Among the performances, the lion dance by students from the Saint Ignatius High School was very inspiring with their adept steps and enthusiasm and won many rounds of cheers from the audience. The Chinese Club of CSU brought the audience a variety of Chinese singing and dancing programs, such as Nunchakus and Happy Chinese New Year. The dance Little Apple by students from the Confucius Classroom at MC² STEM School led the celebration to an exciting climax. The whole event was in a cheerful atmosphere with continuous peaks one after another. It came to its perfect end with a graceful traditional Chinese dance, and the audience already started to long for the celebration next year.

The lion dance performed by high school students

Teachers of the Confucius Institute carefully arranged some Chinese culture booths around the stage. While the performances were in process, these booths were no less popular than the performances and attracted many audience to participate in the activities. They not only showcased Chinese culture but also offered many interesting games, which the children enjoyed the most. At the booth for martial arts, many martial arts fans gathered to participate in the Taiji and lion dance activities. While they were practicing their moves, they asked the teachers for advice and expressed their hope to participate in our performances in the futyre. At the booth for Chinese zodiac animals, many students from primary and secondary schools gathered and painted the goat in their mind with brush pens and watercolors. At the booth for Chinese knots, traditional Chinese knots were transformed into ornaments like hair clips and bracelets. At the booth for paper cutting, a variety of paper cuts were set as background and a large group of children and their parents practiced paper cutting together. The booth for costumes was even more popular. Both men and women, young and old, showed their keen interest in trying on the costumes and taking photos. At the booth for games, the participants were all excited to try the fun games like picking up dumplings, candies, or Ping-Pong balls with chopsticks. At the booth for Chinese calligraphy, participants came one after another to try to write the Chinese character “yang” (goat). At the booth for the Confucius Institute, the participants, with a keen interest, viewed the exhibition of photographs of the events held by the Confucius Institute over the years. Some of them came to ask about the programs offered by the Confucius Institute. The booth for Chinese food not only showed to the participants the pictures of various delicious Chinese food, but also provided some traditional food and drinks of Spring Festival, which offered the participants a chance to taste delicious food and learn more about Chinese food culture.

Children learning to paint facial masks of Chinese zodiac animals

The performance of Little Nezha by a group of cute children

In addition, 18 students from the Hudson High & Middle School volunteered in this event. Through assisting teachers of the Confucius Institute in organizing cultural activities at the booths, they not only truly understood the profundity of Chinese culture, but also deepened their understanding of the Confucius Institute and Chinese culture.

This Lunar New Year Celebration received great attention and support from many organizations, such as local communities and schools, and has become an important branding event of Chinese culture in Cleveland. Many media like Cleveland People started to publicize this celebration a long time ago. On the day of the event, Fox 8 TV Station in Cleveland sent its reporters to cover this event, which was aired on the morning of March 1st.


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