Video by Sara Bannoura
Webster’s Confucius Institute hosted a celebration of Chinese culture for the seventh year in Sunnen Lounge Feb. 12 to commemorate the Chinese New Year.
Traditional Chinese food was served to celebrate the Chinese year of the monkey, including dumplings, spring rolls and Yangzhou fried rice.
Several instructors gave short presentations about Chinese traditions. Some instructors also performed for the celebration which included martial arts, Tai Chi, Chinese songs and Monkey King.
Lee Reycraft, a 67-year-old retired music teacher, shared his experiences from traveling to China 14 times since the summer of 2002.
“Everyone should learn Chinese. It’s rewarding and it’s not difficult.” Reycraft said. “Chinese is enjoyable, because it’s so foreign.”
Madeleine Biggs, a Webster student studying Chinese, was recruiting students who were interested in studying abroad in China and looking for new recruits for the China Bridge, a competition that tests people on their Chinese culture.
Her friend, Jocelyn Cato, studied abroad in Beijing for one semester with Biggs.
“I really like China. I love China,” Cato said. “If I could stay there, I would.”
Hands-on activities gave participants an opportunity to write spring couplets, make dumplings, construct paper cuttings and paint monkey masks.
Tracy Drissell, a Webster alumna, and Lexi Drissell, her seven-year-old adopted daughter from China, painted a monkey mask together.
Lexi Drissell wore a pink Qi Pao, a traditional Chinese dress.
This was their fourth year participating in Webster’s Chinese New Year celebration. Tracy Drissell said she wants her daughter to stay connected to her Chinese heritage.
“She is acutely aware that she is Chinese. I want her to be proud of it,” Tracy Drissell said. “She has a keen interest to know more about being Chinese.”