National Chinese Honors Society members plan for celebration

Kate Loper

The National Chinese Honor Society (NCHS) will host a celebration event for Chinese New Year. This cultural holiday will happen on Feb. 1 and also marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year.
This event will provide traditional Chinese foods often eaten in the new year, such as jiaozi (dumplings) and baozi (steamed buns). These foods are steamed and both contain a variety of vegetables and meats filled inside of them. Alongside this, traditional Chinese music will play at the event.
Tungfen Lee, NCHS sponsor and Chinese teacher, said in previous years, NCHS celebrated Chinese New Year differently.
“We used to host Chinese New Year events at the Carmel Clay Public Library and invited people in the community to celebrate. All students and family (everyone in the community)are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the cultural events sponsored by NCHS,” she said via email.
Junior Alleson Gao said she has been celebrating Chinese New Year for most of her life.
“Chinese New Year is a day that brings the family together- for my family we always make dumplings together and eat them for dinner,” she said.
She said a memorable moment when celebrating Chinese New Year was when she would go to church.
“At church we would dress up wearing a traditional Chinese dress and sing songs and also eat food. We would also receive red envelopes and they would place a $2 bill inside.” Gao said.
Lee said this is an extremely memorable holiday.
She said, “When I was in Taiwan, I enjoyed celebrating Chinese New Year with my immediate and extended families-we have more than thirty people altogether.”
Alongside these familial celebrations, people observe some superstitions or taboos with the tradition.
Teresa Yu, member of NCHS and junior said, taking medicine, sweeping the floor, washing clothes and cutting hair are all cultural taboos that are usually followed during Chinese New Year.
She said, “I would say that some people might not understand and find the superstitions of Chinese New Year to be odd. This can cause some stereotypes that Chinese New Year seems very superstitious when, in reality, it’s just like how all cultures have their own beliefs.”
Yu also said many times when a family moves to the United States after living in China, they will stop celebrating certain traditions to assimilate. This, she said leads to an overall underrepresentation of what Chinese New Year is.
But Gao said Chinese New Year presents an opportunity for others to learn about Chinese culture.
“By learning about Asian American culture and Asian American History, we also are learning about American history and the Asian American community,” she said.

 

Moody Homsi

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