Skyline celebrates 15th annual Chinese New Year celebration

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  • One of the Lion costumes used by the Shaolin Culture Center in their Lion Dance at Skyline College on Feb. 10, 2016.

  • Grand Master Yung Chi Chung from the Shaolin Culture Center and some of his students starting off the lunar new year celebrations at Skyline College on Feb. 10, 2016.

  • Grand Master Yung Chu Chung from Shaolin Culture Center showcases his bow-staff skills at Skyline College’s Chinese New Year celebration on Feb. 10, 2016.

  • Lion Dancer interacts with children in the audience at Skyline College’s Chinese New Year celebration on Feb. 10, 2016.

  • Students from the Shaolin Culture Center perform the Lion Dance in celebration of Chinese New Year at Skyline College on Feb. 10, 2016

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Skyline College recently celebrated its 15th annual Chinese New Year with a cheerful and festive event. The event had plenty of things to see. There was a traditional Chinese lion dance, food, as well as performances that students watched and enjoyed. Master Chung was invited to perform great feats at the event, like bending metal with his throat and using chopsticks as a weapon. He said that he had been “performing for over thirty years.” There was also a martial arts performance by Master Chung’s students.

“We celebrate the Chinese New Year to bring in Chinese culture to the Skyline Community,” said Hui Pate, the Asian Studies Center Coordinator. “Students and Faculty can learn about other cultures. We want to make Skyline College a window to the world, so everyone can experience it even though we are here in the United States.”
“The Chinese new year is a whole week process,” said Pate, describing the holiday. “It starts with New Year’s Eve like here in the States, and then we have New Year’s Day. We have family members from all around the world to have a banquet. The whole family will also cook and eat together. We also have fire firecrackers and lion dances to drive off evil spirits and to celebrate prosperity. Little kids also get to eat lucky candy and a little red envelope with money inside. That’s part of the tradition.”

Celebrating these types of ethnic events is an important aspect in advocating diversity and understanding of different cultures on campus, especially the Chinese culture. Right here in the Bay Area exists a large base of the Chinese-American population. According to the Chinese-American population data of Asia Matters for America, during the 2010 Census, the Chinese population in the United States was over 3.7 million and California had 35.5 percent of it.

“I just felt that it provided a great atmosphere today,” said Skyline student Rico Pepin. “It’s a wonderful sunny day and hearing those fresh sounds: cymbals, drums, excitement. It was nice. I liked it.”

California is known for its diversity and with the increasing population of different cultures, it is imperative that we learn about them. With the importance of culture diversity, these types of events help us become more informed and aware of others. It helps students learn about the Chinese culture and helps them experience traditions the Chinese population enjoys.

These events also help welcome immigrants, making them feel “at home,” therefore, further embracing them into our own culture. This shows that we truly embrace diversity, and shows our appreciation to other cultures. We hope that this tradition at Skyline College continues for generations to come.

Update: Photos were added to the story. 2/19/2016 1:08 p.m.