Chinese Student Union Held 2016 Chinese New Year Garden Party at UPR

02/09/ 2016

On Feb. 7th (Sunday), the last day of the just past Sheep Year in Chinese lunar calendar, the Chinese Student Union (CSU) held the 2016 Chinese New Year Garden Party in the lobby of Faculty of Natural Sciences to celebrating the coming Monkey Year.

CSU initiated this special event at UPR last year, which is probably the largest celebration of Chinese community in Puerto Rico. The party consisted of cultural performances at the central stage and the games in the lobby, and also provided delicious Chinese food. Lasting from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm, this celebration attracted over 500 participants.

Jointly hosted by CSU and the Asian Community & Youth Association (ACYA), this celebration was sponsored by ACYA and Consulate-general of China in Houston, and got tremendous supports from the Faculty of Natural Sciences, the Department of Foreign Languages, International Student Office, and several local schools and organizations such as Caguas Cipriano Manrique, Chinese Class form the school, Jose E. Aponte De La Torre of Carolina, and LCT Shaolin Artes.

Dr. Carlos I. González
Dean of Natural Sciences

Some distinguished guests from UPR and ACYA attended this celebration, including Dr. Carlos I. González,Dean of Natural Sciences, Dr. Agnes M. Bosch, Dean of Humanities, and Mr. Huanxiong Zheng, the Chairman of ACYA. During their speeches, they highly commended the previous and the current celebrations, and the contributions of Chinese community to Puerto Rico. Especially, Dr. González gave his best wishes to the participants in Chinese.

The performances began at 10:00 with the vibrant and joyful lion dance by LCT Shaolin Artes. The audience cheered out loudly, such a professional lion dance is rare to see even in China now. In the following two hours, the audience enjoyed the treble choirs, dances, chorus?martial arts, dragon dance, violin solo, and traditional Chinese music. The show ended with the chorus by the CSU students and the UPR students in the Chinese class. The audience responded with continuous applause and cheers during the shows.

There are many untold stories behind the shows.  For example, the elementary school students from Caguas Cipriano Manrique drove a long way to UPR campus on Saturday, and practiced the dragon dance twice for perfection. Many CSU students only slept for two to three hours on Saturday night. The students in the Chinese class at UPR spent weeks preparing their Chinese song.

The performances were followed by the traditional games and cultural exhibition, which include lantern riddles, learning Chinese characters, burr puzzles, paper cutting, making Chinese dumplings etc.

Delicious Chinese food was another highlight, thanks to the supports of several Chinese restaurants, such as Kyoto  (Plaza las Americanas), Golden Chopsticks (Condado), and Chopsticks (Plaza las Catalina).

This is the second time for CSU to organize the Chinese New Year Garden Party at UPR. Such activities provided a rare opportunity for local residents to experience the charm of Chinese culture, and advance the contacts and exchanges between Chinese and Puerto Rican communities.