Lewis & Clark’s Chinese Club has been planning a week of festivities for the Chinese Lunar New Year, which occurred this year on Friday, Feb. 12.
“We planned out this whole past week to do events leading up to Chinese New Year,” Chinese Club Co-President Jacob Hidalgo ’23 said. “So the first event, very early on, was paper crafts — some traditional Chinese paper cutting.”
Unfortunately, their plans were stymied by the snow and ensuing ice storm that hit Portland last Thursday, and the later events are now being rescheduled. Chinese Club Treasurer Savannah Myers ’23 said she is unsure of when the remaining events will happen because they may have to reapply with Student Engagement for permission to hold an event.
When it does happen, their main Lunar New Year event will include a paper fan-painting and tea night in addition to a red envelope-making table. Red envelopes containing money, sometimes known in China as “money warding off old age,” are traditionally given as a gift on Lunar New Year. Since a student organization cannot give out cash to students, the Chinese Club’s envelopes will contain chocolate coins and small toys instead. The club also plans to have boba tea catered, with 45 boba drinks available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Chinese Club does not have a set number of members, other than the five people who serve executive roles in the club. The five leaders plan events, to which varying numbers of students show up.
“There are some people who come very consistently, but then there are other people who maybe are like, ‘Oh, Chinese Club is putting on an event,’” Myers said.
Of the club’s six consistent members, Myers says two of them are fully fluent in forms of Chinese, while the rest are learning.
The club’s most-attended events, according to Hidalgo, are movie nights where they screen Chinese-language films. For their most recent movie night, they screened the Taiwanese film “The Wedding Banquet,” which is about a gay Taiwanese man who legally marries a mainland Chinese woman to get her a U.S. green card. About 10 people showed up to watch the movie in Miller Hall, maxing out the room’s capacity for an in-person event. Myers and Hidalgo are already planning more movie nights in the future.
In addition to the upcoming resumption of Lunar New Year celebrations, Hidalgo said the club was considering a lantern-making event for the Lantern Festival, which begins on Feb. 26.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2021 will be the Year of the Ox. Though interpretations of the Chinese Zodiac animals vary, The Japan Times reports that the current Year of the Ox is a Metal Ox year, which are “soft, slow, and passive.” Joanna Lee, author of “Pocket Chinese Almanac,” interprets this to mean that 2021 should be a year of transition between the upheaval of the dramatic Year of the Rat in 2020 and the coming Year of the Tiger in 2022, which signifies new beginnings.
The LC Chinese Club can be found on Instagram at @chinclub_lc and contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.