Green River celebrates the Lunar New Year
Traditional dances were presented by the Association of Chinese Culture.
It was difficult to move through the student center. Very difficult. Hundreds of Green River students were packed into what used to be the student center cafeteria, now transformed into a festive red gala with hundreds of balloons clustered near the ceiling, elaborate cultural booths lining the wall, and a real casino upstairs. The stage buzzed with student performances of dazzling beauty and baffling talent.
The Lunar New Year is a time of family, celebration and excitement in Asian culture - quite similar to the Christmas season here in the States. The party that Student Life threw last Friday night was an opportunity for Green River students to gather and celebrate a traditional Asian holiday, but also an occasion for students to share a special experience with the Green River community.
"I came to have fun with my Asian and American friends, and introduce my culture to them," explained Emily Wan, a Green River student. Green River faculty attended the celebration, as well. Robyn Carter, International Student advisor, explains, "I advise these students, and this celebration is a good way to learn about their culture."
The Lunar New Year is a time of happiness for everyone, but a bittersweet happiness for many Green River international students: it is hard for them to be away from their families during this time.
"In our culture, this is the time of year you get together with your family," said Alex Wu, a Green River international student, "but it's sad right now. My family is not beside me." These students can't help but reminisce about their childhood days and think of their families back home, gathering without them. The companionship and energy of the campus celebration eases some of their homesickness.
More than 400 guests attended the celebration, a record number for this annual event. Gloria Tan, a Green River student who emceed the night, was not surprised by the enormous turnout. "This celebration is a big deal," she explained, "We are Asian, and we are cool. We want everybody to celebrate with us."