Dragon and Lion Dance Liven Up Eastern United States for Celebration of Year of Pig——Confucius Institute at Bryant University Holds Chinese New Year Celebration

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Bryant University, the US [Time]    2019-02-22 17:27:20 

On February 9th local time, the Confucius Institute at Bryant University in the US held a celebration of the Chinese New Year at the Chace Wellness Center. More than a thousand local people joined the event.

The celebration kicked off with a dragon dance, the Bryant University’s top-notch program. The loud sounding of gongs and drums and the two flying golden dragons on the stage brought the Chinese New Year festive atmosphere to the event.

The dragon dance

Yang Hong, Vice President for International Affairs at Bryant University and Director of the Confucius Institute at Bryant University, extended his New Year greetings to the guests and introduced the language and culture programs of the Confucius Institute. Meanwhile, he expressed his gratitude for the support of Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and for the active participation of the staff and student volunteers from the US-China Institute and the Confucius Institute.

Then the guests from all walks of life of China and the US sent their New Year greetings to the Confucius Institute and the local people, which brought rounds of applause. Ronald K. Machtley, President of Bryant University, and his wife Mrs. Kati Machtley, extended their New Year wishes in Chinese. Mr. Machtley expressed his gratitude to Yang Hong for his efforts in promoting the Chinese cultural programs in the community, and reviewed his experiences of visiting Dalian, Wuhan, Shandong and other places in China.

On behalf of Huang Ping, the newly-appointed consul general of the Chinese Consulate General in New York, and its staff, Counselor of Education Yang Jun extended the New Year greetings to the audience and expressed the appreciation of the invitation from Yang Hong and Bryant University.

Eileen Cheng from the Office of Governor of the State of Rhode Island, on behalf of Governor Gina Raimondo and the staff of the office, thanked Bryant University for holding the event.

Judith Paolucci, Superintendent of Smithfield Public Schools, expressed her hope to strengthen the cooperation between the school district and Bryant University with joint efforts, so as to enhance the US-China friendship.

David Lux, the founder and former Dean of Bryant Zhuhai, wished everyone a happy new year in Chinese and expressed his appreciation of the event.

Guests delivering speeches

The short film “On Pig in the Year of the Pig”, jointly created by Chinese and US students at Bryant University, told of the similarities and differences of the pig in Chinese and Western cultures in a novel way. It also introduced the Spring Festival culture to the audience and won rounds of applause. Later on, Pan Jie, a soprano of Boston Musicians’ Association, performed the classic song “Everlasting Friendship”, whose silken voice displayed the grace of ancient Chinese poetry. “The Shepherd Song” further raised homesickness among the Chinese audience.

Pan Jie singing on the stage

Chinese twin brothers performed “Beautiful Fern leaf Hedge Bamboos” on the zhongruan (a Chinese plucked string instrument), and the audience marveled at the melodious tune. The Bryant's student choir Bryant Singers sang the classic Chinese folk song “Jasmine Flower”, with the beautiful Chinese and the soulful voice bringing great enjoyment to the audience. LI Xiang, representative of Bryant University, together with Qi Zitong and other students from the Confucius Classroom at Smithfield High School performed the oil-paper umbrella show of “Moonlight over the Lotus Pond”, in which the girls with graceful figures held oil-paper umbrellas and danced to the mild song.

Zhongruan ensemble

Chinese folk song “Jasmine Flower”

Oil-paper umbrella show

Later, the lion dance, the kung fu performance, the chorus “Good Time”, and the Vietnamese song “The Essence of the Vietnamese Spring Festival Traditions” were successively staged. The celebration was full of laughing and talking. The Confucius Classroom student Qi Zitong’s classical dance “On the Love of the Lotus” and the Chinese folk dance “Paper Fan Scholars” of the dancing group were so beautiful that the audience was spellbound. Students from the Westbury School District and the Confucius Classroom of Medway Middle School introduced themselves in fluent Chinese, sang Chinese songs and presented Chinese tongue twisters, showing the fruitful results of Chinese language teaching.

Lion dance

Chorus, “Good Time”

Vietnamese song, “The Essence of the Vietnamese Spring Festival Traditions”

Classical dance, “On the Love of the Lotus”

Folk dance, “Paper Fan Scholars”

At the end of the show, the audience voted for the most popular program. The Chinese oil-paper umbrella show “Moonlight over the Lotus Pond” won the Golden Pig Award for the Most Popular Performance in this event. Mr. Machtley personally awarded the trophy to the winning team.

Mr. Machtley awarding the trophy

In addition to the performances, the Confucius Institute at Bryant University also organized a variety of cultural activities. While enjoying Chinese delicacies, guests experienced the activities such as paper-cutting, learning calligraphy, Chinese painting, writing couplets, taking photos in costumes of Chinese ethnic groups, hanging out at fairs, and doing Spring Festival shopping. They as well visited the painting exhibition of students from Smithfield High School with the theme of pig. The event was filled with the joy of the Chinese New Year.

Guests experiencing Chinese culture

Group photo

The Bryant University's celebration of the Chinese New Year had become a well-known event of China-US cultural exchange in Rhode Island, which was popular among mainstream media and the local people in the eastern US. Susan Cook Thanas from Massachusetts said that she had participated in Chinese New Year events for many times. Enthusiastic audiences from states including California, New York, and Connecticut gathered at the Confucius Institute at Bryant University to attend the celebration of the Chinese New Year.

Story by Wang Ping and Xie Kun