Students commemorate the Chinese New Year in a colorful celebration

Embracing the Chinese New Year at SU

The event for the Year of the Tiger was filled with dance, music and poetry.
Published: February 28, 2022
The Han clothes runway show at SU's Chinese New Year Celebration
Models walk in the Han clothes runway show at the CU Syracuse Chinese New Year celebration

“Our wish is that you pass all the exams, get a 4.0 GPA, and never miss any deadline the whole year,” was the cheeky New Year’s wish delivered to the audience at the 2022 CU Syracuse Chinese New Year Event last Saturday. The giant screen onstage had two tigers prowling around “2022,” which is also the Year of the Tiger. The audience started small, but slowly grew as groups continuously flowed in and out of Goldstein Auditorium as if on a conveyor belt.  For those who decided to sit down, they shared traditional Chinese snacks situated in the middle of round tables placed on the floor.

As an international student from China myself, this felt like going home. The tables and atmosphere reminded me of many family dinners in China where I had to remember how many relatives I had. All the nostalgia rushed back to me as the lights went off and the tigers disappeared. Then Yiyou Ma, the warm-up rapper, entertained before the main celebration, dressed in a black bomber jacket and khaki cargo pants. Next, F. Li performed Kung Fu; their performances warming the audience up for the rest of the festivities.

A screen display at CU's Chinese New Year Celebration
The screen welcoming the audience into the CU Syracuse Chinese New Year celebration

After the brief pre-celebration, a five-person student band performed the song “Yellow” by Coldplay. The lead singer’s voiced crooned and curled, backed by electric piano and guitar. A calm feeling washed over the audience as they played, like moonlight on the sea. The audience furthered the transcendent relaxation by opening their phone flashlights, following the rhythm with the lights. If the first song comforted the audience, the band’s next two songs, “Silent Beach” by Neon Garden and “Wanna Go to the Beach” by Summer Invasion Project exploded like fireworks blooming in the sky. The intense drums and crescendoing excitement in the band’s playing seemingly expressed their passion through music.

A student band performs at CU's Chinese New Year Celebration
A student band performs at the CU Syracuse Chinese New Year Celebration

Later, Creations Dance Company came to the stage. The mixture of jazz, hip-hop, salsa, tap and traditional African dance not only represented the spectacle of the celebration but communicated the cultural diversity present in the entire event. 

Y. Zhang, a singer, and Patric Zeng, a rapper, possessed stage presences both unique and full of energy. Zhang’s voice floated on the air with an image of sea wave on the screen behind her. Zeng’s original rap was a sumptuous feast of rhyme, swag and skill. Song after song, audiences were never stingy with their applause.

Then, five students from different districts in China read poems in their individual hometown dialect. The nation of China possesses many dialects and this poetry reading represented the many characteristics and beautiful diversity of the Chinese people. 

Creations Dance Company performs at CU's Chinese New Year Celebration
Creations Dance Company performs at the Chinese New Year Celebration

It was the same in the runway show which displayed clothes of the Han people of China. The models wore delicate, traditional clothes that showed the exquisiteness of the Ming Dynasty. Singer J. Deng then performed Beijing opera, her voice clear and expansive. The dark red, soft blue and baby pink of the models’ garments and Deng’s costume filled the stage; draped on confident, shining people who proudly displayed the beauty of Chinese culture. 

To close the New Year celebration, J. Lin performed a piano solo, giving the cozy mood back to night. “2022 is the Year of Tiger in the Chinese calendar,” declared one of the hosts at the end. “So, we hope everyone can act like a tiger this year, be strong and be brave.”