LAWRENCE – A Chinese student group at the University of Kansas will host the 2012 Greater Kansas Area Chinese New Year Gala at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Lied Center.
Hosted by the KU Chinese Student & Scholar Friendship Association (KUCSSFA), the Chinese New Year Gala will feature performances from various Kansas artists, dancers, singers and musicians, as well as opportunities for guests from different professional fields to discuss Chinese culture and business opportunities. The event is designed to promote Chinese culture, cultivate U.S.-China friendship and provide opportunities for Kansans to learn about China.
The theme of this year’s gala is “Descendants of the Dragon, All Over the World.”
“As more Chinese students and scholars come to the United States, we’re seeing more opportunities for cultural exchange and the enrichment of diversity in local communities,” said Shenji Pan, president of the KUCSSFA. “This event is a great opportunity for guests to enjoy various aspects of Chinese culture and to highlight the friendship that exists between the United States and China.”
Scheduled performers include KU Concert Choir, Kansas City Chinese Music Ensemble, Lily “Zhangli” Taylor Dance School, Silk Road Dance Academy, Kungfu Master Chun Man Sit, Drum Roller, Lion Dance, Minyi’s Gu-Zeng School and KU Jazz Band.
In addition to the evening gala, the KUCSSFA will host a China Forum from 1:30 p.m.-4 p.m. to discuss sustainable growth and China’s role in the global economy. Invited guests include representatives from the Consulate General of China in Chicago and various Kansas state agencies, universities and businesses.
The KUCSSFA has hosted a Chinese New Year Gala for years. But unlike past events – which were mostly limited to KU and Lawrence – this year’s gala includes partners from throughout Kansas, including the Edger Snow Memorial Foundation, Kansas City Chinese Association, US-China People Friendship Association, The Society for Friendship with China, Center for East Asia Studies, Xi’an Sister City Committee, Tsinghua University Alumni Association, and Chinese Student & Scholar Associations from other schools such Kansas State University, Emporia State University and University of Missouri-Kansas City.
“It’s the first time that so many different Chinese community groups, together with many American China-friendship organizations and universities in Kansas and the Kansas City area, have collaborated on a regional Chinese New Year event,” Pan said. “It’s been a great partnership, one that creates the groundwork for additional unified events in the future.”
For details and an updated list of performers, visit here.
The Chinese New Year Gala coincides with the Lied Center’s ongoing China Festival series, which began in October and runs through February 2012. Other events in the series are listed here.
Chinese New Year, also known as known as Spring Festival, is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. The festival begins on the first day of the first month in the traditional Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival, which is on the 15th day, marking the end of the winter season. Chinese New Year is widely celebrated in east and southeast Asia, in countries and territories such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. 2012 marks the Year of the Dragon, a symbol that represents success and prosperity, and is the most important year among the 12 Chinese Zodiacs.
KUCSSFA is an independent nonprofit organization officially registered at KU. The group is committed to promoting mutual understanding, mutual assistance and mutual benefits among KUCSSFA members and contributing to the cultural diversity of KU and the greater Kansas City area.