‘Dancing Lions’ Open Spring Festival
Intercultural Club Beijing Celebrates Spring Festival
“I was excited to see two ‘lions’ dancing in front of my eyes; it made me feel like I was in China,”
said Yisi Lu, an International College Beijing (ICB) student who is currently studying at the University of Colorado Denver. She was joined by dozens of other CU Denver students and faculty at this year’s annual Spring Festival banquet, which was held on February 8th. The event was hosted by the Intercultural Club Beijing.
The Spring Festival is one of the most important holidays celebrated in China, with more than 4,000 years of history. According to the lunar calendar, it signifies the end of the past year and the beginning of the new year.
During this time, it is customary for entire families to reunite together (similar to how many American families gather for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, or New Year’s). Since the majority of the Chinese students on the CU Denver campus do not return home for the festival, the Intercultural Club Beijing hosts this special night for students to celebrate with their CU Denver family.
To welcome all of the Chinese students and their American and international friends, and to promote cultural awareness on campus, the ICB Club organized ten performances with the diversity of the audience in mind. As the sound of drumming rose from the stage, two vivid “lions” showed up on stage for the first performance. Four actors from Denver Shaolin Kung Fu Academy were hidden inside the costumes, bringing a version of traditional Chinese dance to the banquet. They jumped down from the stage, came into the audience to dance, and created a stir with the crowd.
The lively atmosphere increased when Xiaoyu Li, a junior student, sang a popular song, “Treasure.” Friends of the Chinese students also had a chance to showcase their talents. Vietnamese students, Yi and Ben, and popular local dancers energized the audience with a hip-hop dance.
The ICB Club’s long-term partner, International Students Inc. (IS!), also attended the banquet. ISA focuses on building bridges between international students and American families. One of the Chinese students invited her host family to perform with two other Chinese students. They rearranged the song “See You Again” into a playful B-Box version. As they sang, a slideshow ran, with photos of friends collected from the students’ daily life..
The highpoint of the whole show arrived toward the end of the banquet, when four ICB seniors, Antai Guo, Runtian Liu, Qibin Fang, and Haotong Ma, joined together to sing the popular Chinese song, “Youth”. “It is our last semester here and we wanted to create an unforgettable performance,” explained one of the seniors. Cameras flashed and the crowd cheered; their performance met a resounding ovation.
“I was so proud of my homeland and its culture at this event,” said Yisi Lu . “It was such a wonderful banquet that made me feel happy and moved. I will definitely attend the banquet next year.”
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