Annual Lunar New Year celebration approaches

Students and members of the Baylor Asian Student Association join together in dance to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Lariat File Photo

By Lucy Ruscitto | Staff Writer

The Baylor Asian Student Association is hosting their 6th annual Lunar New Year celebration from 6-9 pm today in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center.

Professional Chinese lion dancers and multitudes of organizations connected to Baylor’s Multicultural Affairs Department will unite to promote cultural awareness. Booths will also be featuring games, educational information and other Asian student organizations.

Prizes can be won for participating in these games, and there will be giveaways for free T-shirts and Asian food.

Austin sophomore Aldrian Widjaja, Baylor Asian Student Association president, said unlike the traditional calendar year that restarts every January, Lunar New Year follows the cycle of the moon.

Lufkin vice president of the Baylor Asian Student Association sophomore Joseph Santiago, said Lunar New Year is also another way to hang out with the Baylor community and get introduced to both students and faculty from different corners of campus they don’t typically encounter.

“[Baylor Lunar New Year] is also usually hosted during the first test weeks. It’s a way for people to just destress,” Santiago said.

This organization said its aim is to accomplish the same objective each year: draw a wider audience to get involved.

“I think the goal for this event is just to make people more aware of the community [in ASA] and then make them say, ‘I want to participate more,’” Widjaja said.

Widjaja and Santiago said this organization as a whole is not exclusive, and they emphasize support from different types of Baylor students.

Santiago said that in his high school, the Asian population did not exist, so he joined this group to make friends that could relate to him and his story. On the other hand, Widjaja said that he came from a high school in which a lot of the students were like him, but wanted to join the Baylor Asian Student Association for a similar reason as Santiago: a mutual connection of culture.

“What we say is that ‘it’s for anyone and everyone,’” Widjaja said. “So it’s basically anyone who has an interest in Asian community and Asian culture. If they want to join the group, they’re totally free to join.”

Santiago said the group tries to emulate a typical Lunar New Year celebration to the best of their abilities and the Jiu Long Lion Dance Troupe assists in creating this authenticity.

The Jiu Long Lion Dance Troupe have performed for many famous clients over the years including Food Network, the Dallas Mavericks and America’s Got Talent.

Santiago and Widjaja said they believe that through their better use of advertising and publicizing for this event, the turnout should be sizable and all Baylor students, faculty and Wacoans are welcome.

“Any of the events on campus hosted by student organizations let you see the true Baylor students,” Widjaja said. “It’s just a good way to really see Baylor through an unfiltered lens.”