SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A local college community gathered Thursday night to learn more about how different Asian cultures celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Dozens of students attended a Lunar New Year workshop Thursday night at the University of Scranton.
“Me being an international language business major, it’s something really important to me culturally. I love Asian culture, so of course I had to be here,” said rookie Valerie Gibau.
They learned how each Lunar New Year corresponds to a Chinese zodiac animal, and this year is the Year of the Water Tiger.
“A tiger represents the king of beasts in Chinese mythology. So it is also very appropriate this year because it shows courage and bravery, perseverance. And so it’s good for us to have that spirit to fight COVID-19 and end the pandemic so that we can stay optimistic,” said Dr. Ann Pang-White, Director of Asian Studies at the University. of Scranton.
Professors from the university’s Asian Studies and World Languages and Cultures departments worked together to organize the event.
“I am very happy that today we not only have a Taiwanese teacher talking about the Chinese Lunar New Year, but also a Japanese teacher talking about how Japan celebrates the new year,” said Dr Pang- White.
The program included Asian cuisine, an interactive chopstick contest, and hands-on lessons in Chinese calligraphy and Japanese origami.
“I have a very Italian background, so every time I have a vacation or whatever, it’s Italian food, Italian culture, so it’s really really exciting to explore a new culture. , especially one that looks as fun as this one,” said Sophomore Sam Durante. .
The Lunar New Year started on February 1. It is one of the most important celebrations of the year among East and Southeast Asian cultures.