Lunar New Year Celebration livens up the Student Center

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion’s Lunar New Year Celebration drew a diverse crowd on Jan. 24, filling up the Wing of the Sharwan Smith Student Center. The night of fun featured cultural performances that explored the beauty of the annual celebration.

The Lunar New Year is a celebration of spring that goes on for weeks, observed in countries all across the Eastern Hemisphere. To many attending, the event was an opportunity to learn about this holiday, but to David Nguyen, it was a chance to share a celebration that he holds close to his heart.

“I think the importance of having an event like this, especially at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, is to showcase culture and traditions that not everybody may know about,” Nguyen said. “A lot of people don’t understand how much this type of holiday means to somebody of one of these cultures.”

Nguyen kicked off the party with a drumming performance, followed by a presentation describing the Lunar New Year.

The event also featured boba, a lion dance, flowers and decorations. CDI Coordinator Landry Igiraneza performed an eye dotting on a new dragon puppet, a ceremony that Nguyen explained would bring its “soul” to life. After the ceremony, a group worked together to give the dragon its first dance.

Nguyen proudly smiled as he wished spectators a happy new year after every performance.

“[Lunar New Year] has a huge sense of family, cultural belonging and tradition upkeep that we’re able to show to a lot of people who understand a different facet of upholding those same things but may not have been educated about what that looks like for somebody else,” he said.

Nguyen hopes to continue showing students and staff across campus how important it is to celebrate cultural differences as a community.

Article by: Kale Nelson
Photos by: Devan Call