Chinese community commemorates Lunar New Year

Student and parent volunteers set up an event dedicated to their holiday

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Lily Huynh / the Talon

Diya Johnny and Ravali Vallurupalli

The Chinese community organized a traditional dragon dance to honor the Lunar New Year. The event took place on the great lawn at lunch on Feb. 1. The event was organized by students enrolled in the Chinese class, Chinese teacher Katherine Chang and parent volunteers.  

“The moms and dads in the Chinese community who set this up did a really good job, and I am grateful for them representing our culture at the school,” freshman Maggie Ruan said. 

There were a total of eight students who participated in the dragon dance two in the silver dragon and six in the red dragon. Among these eight students, one explained how she wanted to represent her culture and bring awareness to the holidays she celebrates. 

“We wanted to share our culture with others and bring awareness that this actually happens,” junior Jasmine Liu said. 

From the large dragon costumes to the instruments played, this event sought to represent  Chinese culture. The dragon is a Chinese symbol of life, prosperity, fertility and wisdom.

“The dragon dance was good, they captured the aspects of a dragon dance like it would happen in China,” Ruan said.

There were a variety of activities setup that introduced different aspects of Chinese culture to the students, such as calligraphy, fans, decorated masks, lanterns, dragons, tea and food. 

“I saw the tables and the food, all of which remind me of my heritage and that I grew up with. I feel like it has been really empowering for our community,” Ruan said. 

The great lawn was lively with students and parents. Everyone present either sat on the grass or stood behind as they watched the dragon dance. The long line for the activities was ever-growing with eager students waiting for food and tea. 

“I love it so much and think it is so cool. I am excited to do my arts and crafts and eat my rice cake,” senior Tessa Anderson said.

As we step further into the future, Oak Park High School celebrates more culturally diverse ethnic groups. 

“As a part of the Chinese community, I feel like this is definitely a step towards diversity that our school and our society in this world needs,” Ruan said.