New Year, old traditions

By By Parker Williams and By Parker Williams

By Parker Williams

Students from the Chinese Student and Scholar Association helped usher in the year of the pig Friday night as a celebration for Chinese New Year was held in the Union Ballroom.

Students participated in various dances and songs to celebrate the New Year.

“Traditionally we gather as a family,” said Shanghai native Ji Qi. He said that other than fireworks and the number of people attending, the celebration held in China and the one held in the Union Ballroom were “basically the same.”

Although much of the program was in Chinese, people of various cultures attended the celebration.

“There were obviously a lot of parts I didn’t understand,” said David Yancy, a senior in anthropology. “It was pretty interesting.”

Also in attendance for the celebration was Theresa Martinez, associate professor of sociology and assistant vice president of academic outreach at the U. Martinez spoke about the contributions Chinese students make to the U and the community.

“The future looks bright as the U continues to recruit and retain Chinese scholars,” Martinez said.

Animal signs are often associated with the Chinese New Year. According to, a Chinese legend said that in ancient times Buddha invited all of the animals in the kingdom together for a meeting, but only 12 creatures attended. Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality.

And what does the lunar year 4705 have in store for U students? According to, “Pig years are known for their respite from strife, patience and passivity, but also for indulgence, sensuality and fleshy delights. The greatest risk will be na’vet, so by all means avoid being fooled or duped throughout 2007. Self-promotion gains little in 2007 as the pig is not interested in pushing ahead at the cost of another.”

The start of the new lunar year provides an opportunity to recommit to New Year’s resolutions that may have fizzled out over the first weeks of 2007. A Chinese proverb offers this advice: “Do not fear going forward slowly, fear only to stand still.”

Kim Peterson

“TCM” performs a hip-hop dance in the Union on Saturday night to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The event was put on by the U’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association and featured a variety of live dances and musical performances.