On March 4, Liccardo resounded with thundering drums, deep voices of Bellarmine students singing Chinese songs, and lion-dancing during Bellarmine’s Chinese New Year Celebration. From Chinese trivia and instrumental performances to sharing traditional food with friends and family, the celebration grabbed the attention of many. The event’s success was the result of Ms. Helen Hall and Ms. Haifang Yun’s effort and hard work, whom coordinated with the school in ensuring a memorable experience.
Ms. Haifang Yun provided a background on what started this tradition before progressing into details of preparations. “Five or six years ago, it initially started with [one to three] families, mostly from the Chinese classes here at Bellarmine,” said Ms. Yun. However, the event has grown since then, becoming a large gathering within the Bellarmine community. “As the group grew, the celebration became more formal, leading to the event being hosted at Bellarmine for the past three years.” The large celebration hosted at Liccardo allowed people of all races besides those who are Chinese to participate. “The event at Liccardo was a way for the community to gather together, a way for welcoming people [to the Chinese culture].”
“The reason I wanted to do it was because when my son [Maxwell Yun ‘17] was a freshman, I found the Chinese New Year Event as a rewarding experience,” Ms. Yun said. She appreciated the concept of community besides finding the event as something rewarding. “This event draws Bellarmine families together giving everyone a [cultural immersion],” she added. “Celebrating Chinese New Year also gives me the opportunity to give back to the community and promote diversity.” With wonderful performances that included Bellarmine students singing Chinese songs, Ms. Yun said that this gave Mandarin-taking students the time to “show what they learned and [accomplished] from [Ms. Jan’s] Mandarin class.”
Many students attended the event, whether it was for extra credit or to learn more about Chinese culture. It was Justin Cai ‘20’s first Chinese New Year Celebration and admired the atmosphere it brought. “I enjoyed the amount of energy that the students and faculty brought to this event,” he said. “I would definitely attend this event again, especially because of the extra credit that some teachers give, and because I got to see many of my friends.”
The Lunar New Year event offered the school’s families a chance to gather and celebrate Chinese culture with one another. Although the event lasted two hours, Ms. Helen Hall and Ms. Haifang Yun executed a well-organized event that brought the Bellarmine community closer indefinitely.