Northwestern CSA, TASC, CISA hold Lunar New Year celebrations on campus


Source: Gabrielle Tsoi

Members of CISA. The student organization will be producing their annual Spring Festival on Jan. 25.

Vivian Xia, Reporter

Every year, cultural groups on campus gear up and prepare Lunar New Year celebrations so students of Asian backgrounds can gather and celebrate their culture.

The Chinese International Student Association is hosting their annual Spring Festival Celebration on Lunar New Year, Saturday in the Ryan Family Auditorium. It will feature performances from various dance and a capella groups, including Refresh Dance Crew, Fusion Dance Company, K-Dance, Typhoon Dance Troupe and Treblemakers.

The celebration will feature a Chinese xiangsheng, or crosstalk, a traditional form of comedy. In addition, there will be a raffle where guests have the chance to win items such as a Nintendo Switch Lite or a Fuji Instax camera.

This is the second year CISA is hosting its Spring Festival Celebration, and it plans on opening up the celebration to non-Chinese speakers.

“Last year we only had (a) Chinese host, and we also had speakers come in but they didn’t know (English),” Communication sophomore and CISA president Gabrielle Tsoi said. “So this year, we use both English and Chinese hosts and most of our programs can be understood in English, so all are welcome.”

Tsoi said the Spring Celebration Festival is part of an initiative by CISA to open up more of its events to English speakers.

In addition to CISA’s Spring Festival Celebration, the Chinese Students Association and the Taiwanese American Students Club have collaborated to host their annual Lunar New Year show, Celebrasia, on Feb. 15, at Cahn Auditorium. It will feature performances by Treblemakers, Refresh, Typhoon and K-Dance.

Several professional Asian artists will perform at the show, and the groups will host a meet-and-greet after the event. As of now, only one performer has been revealed — Korean-Canadian beatboxer and singer KRNFX. There will also be skits performed by members of the committees of Celebrasia centered around the animal of the year — the rat.

“It’s kind of an intermission,” Valerie Fong, Communication sophomore and programming chair of CSA, said. “They’re really cute, they’re really engaging, and they’re usually based on the animal of the year.”

Regarding Celebrasia, Fong said the celebration unites the community of Evanston with the Northwestern student body.

Although the performers, dates and animals change each year, the show is always centered around the holiday.

“The goals of this show are always the same — to promote and celebrate the Lunar New Year,” Weinberg junior and TASC president Anthony Wang said.

Through Celebrasia, TASC and CSA want to spread awareness of Asian culture on Northwestern’s campus, Wang said.

Fong said Lunar New Year is an important holiday for people in many Asian cultures. The event unifies them, and allows them to celebrate their similarities and take pride in their customs.

“You see Asian performers up there and it kind of makes you proud to be, you know, Asian,” Fong said. “To be proud of your background and your heritage.”

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