By Rebecca Fiedler
This lunar new year the Asian Students Association (ASA) is bringing the Chinese New Year and its traditions to Baylor.
At 7 p.m. Monday in the Barfield Drawing Room in the Bill Daniel Student Center, students will have the chance to celebrate the year of the snake with free food from Panda Express, entertainment and games. The event is free and open to the public.
ASA members will perform skits and game booths will be run by other multicultural organizations, including the Vietnamese Student Association, Alpha Kappa Delta Phi sorority and Hispanic Student Association.
At the booths, visitors can play and win tickets that are redeemable for prizes. A photo booth will be set up with a snake prop that people can take pictures with, and T-shirts bearing a snake’s image will be available for $15.
“When they play the games, they earn tickets, and they trade the tickets in for prizes like Asian candy, snacks and drinks,” said Pearland senior Rachel Nguyen, ASA internal vice president.
The USA Chin Woo Lion and Dragon Dance Team, a line dance team from Richardson, will perform a line dance and give a kung-fu performance. A line dance is traditional, said Chau Truong, Houston junior and ASA external vice president. It represents good luck, scaring away bad spirits.
Traditionally, those participating in Chinese New Year are given money in a red envelope as a gift, so to replicate that, participants will be given red envelopes with two redeemable tickets. This festival has been put on at Baylor for nine years, and ASA is trying to replicate Chinese New Year festivals as they have been done traditionally in Asia, Truong said.
The Baylor Activities Committee is working with ASA to put on the festival. Washington, D.C. junior Pauletta Jordan, program coordinator for the Baylor Activities Committee said the committee partners with multicultural organizations to help them plan and create events. The committee has a major hand in putting on the Chinese New Year celebration.
“Everyone goes for the food, because it’s free food,” Truong said. “But then a lot of people like to do the booths and stuff too, because they get tickets and end up getting prizes.”
Visitors will also have the chance to learn more about Chinese and Asian culture. ASA members will perform a skit explaining the Chinese zodiac and how it came to be. The Vietnamese Student Association will teach visitors a Vietnamese game of luck called Bau Cua. Pendley Party Productions, a company that decorates the entrance of Barfield for events like Christmas on 5th Street, will decorate for Chinese New Year with adornments bearing Chinese characters, Nguyen said.
“It’s to let the Baylor community experience Chinese New Year,” Troung said. “And also it’s for people that do celebrate Chinese New Year that can’t go home, so it’s like bringing home here for them.”