Michael Deng ’18
I recall that once my father offered me a cigarette to smoke, then asked me to light up the
fireworks with it. I refused to smoke because I just hated that smell, but I lit up the firecrackers with the cigarette, and it was pretty cool. That was how I celebrated my Chinese New Year when I was a kid, and I could vividly flash back to every single scene—family reunions, dumplings, fireworks… But then, as I grew older, especially when I came to Woodberry, New Year celebration had become less important, and more informal—I would just lie on my bed to watch the new year TV programs on China Central Television. I am sure that this is true for a lot of other Asians in Woodberry, too.
But this year, the Lunar New Year celebration is back. Thanks to Mrs. Manning, Mr. Alexander, and the school, the Asian students in Woodberry were able to share their cultures to the community and celebrate their holidays. On Thursday morning, Howard Qu, Evan Sun, Wenbo Xin, Josh Chen, and Dylen Yen performed a traditional Chinese music piece, Butterfly Lovers, while Mark Wu from China, Nam Bui from Vietnam, and JangWoo Park from South Korea introduced how they would celebrate Lunar New Year in their countries. On Saturday evening, the Chinese students brought pots and pans as well as traditional ingredients to the wall room and cooked together. On Sunday evening, Mr. Navitsky, Mr. Manning, and Mrs. Manning organized a party, during which the current students in the Chinese classes helped make dumplings. Later, faculty and students outside of the Chinese class came as well and listened to the students who
are studying Chinese give presentations on a variety of topics in Mandarin. By the end of the weekend, it was safe to say that I could feel back home again, simply because the cultual spirit was elevated high and I was able to hang out with open-minded people in Woodberry who appreciate the Asian cultures and had chosen to celebrate with us. It was also an unforgettable experience to be cooking together with my fellow Chinese students, especially that I would be graduating after a few months. I hope that Woodberry can continue the celebration of Lunar New Year as a new tradition.