A variety of performances, cultural workshops and traditional Chinese New Year foods filled the Student Life Event Center on Friday evening as students and faculty celebrated the Year of the Pig.
The Chinese New Year Celebration was hosted by the Chinese Flagship program of SF State and began at 4:30 p.m. The Chinese Flagship Program, created in 2009, is a program that combines special courses, cultural training and many study abroad opportunities.
“It’s a good way for students of the Chinese Flagship program to learn more about the Chinese culture,” said Yating Sun, a tutor for the Chinese Flagship students.
The event center displayed red and gold lanterns along the walls and paper mache pigs as table centerpieces, made by students in the program to represent the good fortune of Chinese New Year.
At the celebration, guests were given raffle tickets for the many prizes to come throughout the evening such as teapots, sets of tea cups decorated by a Chinese American artist and five tickets for the Bay Area Discovery Museum.
After finding a table, students and faculty were able to grab refreshments and a plate of traditional Chinese New Years food. There was an assortment of dumplings, veggie fried rice and red bean cakes from Kingdom of Dumpling, a traditional Chinese restaurant in the Sunset district.
The SF State Treble Choir kicked off the event by singing two Chinese folk songs. The choir was followed by Paul Wilson, a technician for the School of Music, performing martial arts. In between each of the performances raffle prizes were announced.
John Choy, a 90-year-old SF state alumnus, has been performing at the Chinese New Year Celebration at SF State for the past three years. This year, Chow performed four cantonese ensemble songs while playing a lap steel guitar, as four of his friends accompanied him with their different instruments.
The event had different cultural booths of which guests were able to participate in activities like calligraphy, a photo booth and paper cutting.
The photo booth had three backdrop options to choose from including the Great Wall of China, Terracotta warriors and the Temple of Heaven located in Beijing.
Shura Taylor, outreach coordinator of the Chinese Flagship program explains the significance of paper cutting in Chinese culture:
“Paper cutting is when you take a square piece of paper, usually 8 and a half by 8 and a half, and you fold it and make small cuts into Chinese characters,” said Taylor.
Taylor and the rest of the program spent hours of their time to prepare for the celebration since the start of the spring semester. According to Taylor, the program prepared well in advance to find the space to hold the event, and on the first day of the semester they started to make the centerpieces.
According to Shura Taylor, the Year of the Pig is considered a good year filled with fortune and prosperity
“I was born and raised in San Francisco and our Chinatown is one of the oldest in the West Coast that is still thriving,” said Exene Black, biochemistry student who attended the event. “It’s important that SF State supports that.”