The Lunar New Year marks an important traditional holiday to many students at St. Olaf College with East Asian heritage. In the spirit of this celebration, Team Tibet, Korean Culture Association (KCA), Vietnamese Organization (VNO), Chinese Culture Club (CCC) and Japanese Organization Yay (JOY) joined together to celebrate the Year of the Pig with a performance in the Pause Feb. 15. 

This performance consisted of a range of performing art genres including skits, music, presentation, dance and singing. There was even an interactive portion of the Lunar New Year event which engaged the audience directly. Before intermission, the audience was told to line the perimeter as they were taught dance moves by women dressed in traditional clothing on stage. Almost everyone participated and engaged making the evening a lively and enjoyable performance.

“It’s not just about the Asian community celebrating, but also about getting a sense of education for people who don’t.” – Noah Gustilo ’19

The event was organized in a way which was entertaining and informative for the audience. To the organizations leading the event, they said this was their primary goal.

“[Lunar New Year] is a celebration celebrating the new year on the original Chinese calendar,” Noah Gustilo ’19 said.

This ended up evolving to be a celebration of Asian culture and the New Year.

This event was a very collaborative group efforton the behalf of many different organizations to truly capture Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, Chinese and Vietnamese traditions. Students began planning for the event four months prior to the performance.

“It’s not just about the Asian community celebrating, but also about getting a sense of education for people who don’t. A lot of people who come to St. Olaf have never been to Asia and this is really to showcase this culture,” Gustilo said.

During the performances, audiences roared with enthusiasm and excitement filled the room. It was wonderfully put together, and there was genuine passion in the students as they showcased traditions from their heritage and culture. The tremendous work and efforts put into Lunar New Year was evident, and the choreography was put together and well executed. It was great to have experienced an event like this that informed me about a culture that wasn’t my own, and I look forward to seeing what other kinds of events these organizations can pull off when working together.

nizhny1@stolaf.edu