Festival marks Pan-Asian Lunar New Year with food, fashion
The fourth-annual Pan-Asian Lunar New Year Celebration allowed the University community to come together and celebrate an important Asian holiday.
Different Asian organizations set up booths at the "Country Fair" to show how they celebrate the new year, said event co-chair Justin Ngo, a Livingston College junior.
Among the many festivities was a fashion show, which featured scenes of Asia from the South, Southeast and East, Ngo said. All the models wore traditional outfits to represent their scene and cultural performances from the student organizations.
The event also featured traditional holiday Asian foods.
Organizers said all these things bring an awareness of different Asian cultures to the University.
"Lunar New Year is a holiday shared by many Asian countries," said To-Thi Bosacchi, director of the Asian American Cultural Center. "On the Rutgers University campus, we have many students who originate from many Asian countries, so the Pan-Asian Lunar New Year is an occasion to bring all the student groups together to share the Asian culture with the community at large."
The lunar new year is not as well-celebrated locally as it is in Asia or in places such as Times Square in New York, said Rutgers College sophomore Jessica Ding, co-president of the Rutgers Chinese Dance Troupe. Because of this, the event is important so Asian Americans have a place to celebrate the new year locally, she said.
Members of the magazine ConversAsian were also present. The student publication is a main medium of expression for the Asian community, which students can use as a resource for contributing thoughts, feelings and suggestions concerning different issues that affect them, the editorial board said.
The booths featured traditional representations of the culture, such as origami and translations of various words, terms and names.
"When people think about origami, they think it's an Asian thing," said AACC member Jung Chang, a Rutgers College junior. "It's amazing that you can make paper into a flower. ... It's a unique art form."
"[We want] people to understand our culture, and I think through translation, it is a very interesting way," said Rutgers College senior Nicole Xu.
"[The event] is important to the Asian population," said Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity member Eddie Bong, an Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy sophomore. "If you come to this event, you can experience all of Asian culture."