The Confucius Institute and Webster University celebrated the Chinese New Year. The organizers of the event invited 500 local K-12 students, parents, teachers, Webster University staff and students. The celebrations took place at the Grant Gymnasium on Tuesday, Feb. 13.
The Confucius Institution brought kites, traditional instruments, and Chinese games. Students of Saint Louis University High School performed a traditional Chinese dance called the Lion Dance. This traditional dance is performed by someone by mimic a lion’s movement in a lion costume to bring luck and fortune. Following with singing and recited poems in Chinese from elementary students from Saint Louis Language Immersion School.
The organizer of the event welcomed guests like Chinese-American Kaiser Kuo and invited him to speak at the event. Kuo is a freelance writer and co-founder of heavy metal band, Tang Dynasty. Kuo is well-known for his initiatives of promoting cultural understanding between China and the United States.
The Confucius Institute staff it consist of teacher who volunteer to participate in this event. All of them happy with the work they did and proud of the influence of the Chinese culture.
“If this what Chinese influence looks like, bring it on,” Kuo said.
In 2010 Kuo started a podcast called the Sinica show, in which he discusses current events in China. In this show, he invites journalists who cover the politics of the People’s Republic of China for the western cultures, known as “China-watchers,” to participate in uncensored discussions about China political and economic affairs. Kaiser also served as the director of international communications for Baidu, one of China’s biggest Internet companies.
Kuo’s speech was to encourage all student to develop an “overarching mission” by telling his own life experiences. Kuo said that “it is important for young people to develop a sense of mission in life. You need to know what your real purpose is. It is not always easy, but it is incredibly rewarding, and it is so vital to this planet, to our respective societies.”
Webster student Nako Wang said “Chinese New Year to the Chinese or the Chinese students at least who loves the Chinese culture that is very important festival for them.”
Another Webster student Hà Lại from Hanoi, Vietnam said that “Chinese new year is biggest new year in most Eastern countries, as these countries have lunar calendar aside gregorian calendar. The way Chinese people celebrate chinese new year is similar to how Western countries celebrate their new year eve.”
Confucius Institutes Director Patty Li is one of the organizers of the event.
“The Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China,” Li said. “It is the time to celebrate, to appreciate and to thanks, so we think it is a good opportunity to celebrate Chinese New Year. At the same time, we show our appreciation to our partner’s schools.”