Students purchase Asian food in front of the MLK room. Sara Hogenboom / Sagamore Staff
On Friday Feb. 5, the high school community came together in the MLK room and atrium to celebrate the holiday that Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese people around the world celebrate: the Lunar New Year. This year is the 17th celebration of Lunar New Year at the high school; this year is the year of the monkey.
Throughout the day, students affiliated with Chinese classes helped facilitate fun and interactive games. These games ranged from trivia games to chopsticks competitions. The students who helped organize the games gave out candy as prizes.
Senior Josh Pang said that he sees the significance in celebrating the Lunar New Year at the high school.
“It is a celebration of a new year, a new life,” Pang said. “Asian culture a big part of the high school, and it is important that we recognize traditions, cultures and different people.”
Pang also said that he has seen the school’s Lunar New Year event change over the years. According to him, the student response for the event has become more positive.
“It’s been really great,” Pang said. “I think this could be our biggest year, with the most amount of people coming. We made it so that the most people could come to see the performances, and I think people are really fascinated with Asian culture.”
Headmaster Holman delivers a speech in front of Chinese Exchange program students. Tuo Ji / Sagamore Staff
In the midst of a wall of onlookers, junior Shirley Wu performed on the zither, a traditional Chinese music instrument. The long and reverberate song echoed throughout the atrium.
Next up was a Tae Kwon Do performance by freshman Ben and sophomore Annika Haber, and 7th grader Judy from the JM Kim Tae Kwon Do School. The trio did a series of Tae Kwon Do movements before moving onto splintering wooden boards with songkals, hand attacks similar to karate chops, and chagis, which are kicks. Ben Haber and Annika Haber then performed a duel. Annika showed the crowd how to disable an armed attacked as Ben Haber received a dagger.
After the Tae Kwon Do performance, Linda J. danced the traditional Chinese sleeve ribbon dance. The graceful ribbons curved across the air and resonated with the rich Chinese music. Then, the current Chinese exchange students stepped onto the stage along with those from the past year. Headmaster Deborah Holman delivered a speech encouraging and wishing the new Chinese exchange students and teachers an insightful and enriching trip.
The Calvin Chin Martial Arts Academy performed Chinese martial arts after headmaster Holman speech. Freshman Brandon Chin and junior Mari Goldstein performed a series of kicks and punches before sparring against each other using staves.
Seniors Jesse Huggins and Alicia Chan, and sophomores Miles Leong and Dougie Szeto presented Chinese yoyo beginning with a relay passing one yoyo to each other. They performed multiple tricks including “around the world” and tossing the yoyo as high as possible before catching it again. Next up was Isobel Cotney singing “Reflection” from the animated movie Mulan in Chinese. Her fluent Chinese and powerful voice captivated the audience. After that the Popcorn Dance Club performed with some pop music and fun dancing.
Lastly, the Calvin Chin Martial Arts Academy performed the traditional lion dance during Lunar New Year. Freshman Brandon Chin became the lion’s tail. Amidst the robust drums and gongs, the lion waved and nodded its head, batted its eyes, and shook its tail at the audience. Finally, as a finish to the act, the lion chomped on a lettuce and two oranges, before spitting them back at the audience.
This article was corrected on Feb. 12. sophomore Isobel Cotney name was misspelled.