Dragons, swords and umbrellas take the stage for the Lunar New Year Celebration

A show highlight was Hong Tinh Duong Martial Arts’ traditional Asian lion dance, where three two-manned lion costumes went around the venue with the front man jumping on the back man’s shoulders, making them look like lions standing on their hind legs. (Judah Shingleton/The Daily Campus)

A showcase of Asian-influenced performances took the crowd at the Chinese Undergraduate Student Association (CUSA) and Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) eighth annual Lunar New Year celebration Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Rome Ballroom.

According to CUSA president Judy Li, they have been planning this event since the fall semester.

“We are able to host this event every single year because of the massive turnout from the community and individuals on campus, and I thank them,” Li said.

The UConn Taiko team opened the show with a traditional Japanese drum performance. There were students who sang in Mandarin and Vietnamese, dance performances and a fashion show that celebrated traditional Asian clothing.

A show highlight was Hong Tinh Duong Martial Arts’ traditional Asian lion dance, where three two-manned lion costumes went around the venue with the front man jumping on the back man’s shoulders, making them look like lions standing on their hind legs.

Audience members mimicked the lion dancers by sitting on the shoulders of other audience members to give the dance members cash.

Ju Long Wushu gave a variety of performances involving flags, swords, fighting, spears, whips and chains from wushu students ranging from children to adults.

The Asian Performing Arts of Connecticut colored the stage with an umbrella dance, a handkerchief dance and a ribbon fan dance. Two women played the guzheng, an old chinese instrument that is played by plucking strings on a long table-like object.

The Children Drama club recited Chinese poems and danced around the stage to Pharrell's “Happy.”

At the check-in table, guests were handed traditional red Chinese envelopes with a raffle ticket inside for prizes the sponsors of the event donated.

The event was also supported by China Care and One Sky Foundation, organizations that support orphaned and disabled children.

Asian food was served at the beginning of the celebration, including rice, egg rolls and noodles provided by UConn catering.

According to Larry Zhu, co-president of VSA, over 500 people showed up to the event.

“I do think that we brought something for everyone to come together and enjoy while we celebrate the Lunar New Year together,” Zhu said.

“This is the fourth year in a row I have gone to this,” eighth-semester computer science and engineering major J.P. Henares said.“I think it is a great way to bring Asian (students) on campus together for a night of community and culture.”


Joshua Oculam is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at joshua.oculam@uconn.edu.