The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) celebrated Chinese New Year in style during the Colorado School of Mines’ Asian Culture Festival. 2013 is the Year of the Snake, and the new year was received quite well by the students and faculty in attendance. The event was coordinated and planned by SASE, with door prizes, games, and authentic decorations all contributing to a festive and authentic atmosphere Friday night in Freidhoff Hall.
Masters of ceremonies Julie Thao and “Scoop” directed the event with enthusiasm and precise timing. The director of the night’s event was Quoc Tran, the festival chairman of SASE. “Tonight took months to plan, but our hard work has paid off—incredible,” said Tran. “SASE has meetings on Mondays at 10:00, and there is always food. The society is open to all members on campus—you don’t have to be Asian.” The audience was treated to delicious Chinese food at a great deal: one-dollar scoops for rice, lo-mein, egg rolls, and more. Even better, an ongoing raffle throughout the night offered a grand prize of a Kindle Fire.
The first performance of the night came from the Wu Lãn Dance Team, who perform at weddings, birthdays, and parties. Their dance featured live drumming and percussion, accented by energetic dancing and colorful costumes. Dancers were dressed as two lions—one red and one green—as “lions are bringers of good luck, and they ward off evil spirits,” said Tran. The lions were tamed in the dance, and acrobatic stunts wowed the audience. At one point, the lions were in the crowd, playfully eating at some of the food on the table.
After the lion dance, a brief intermission allowed for those in attendance to finish their meals and engage in one of the many games and gambling activities. Real money was not used, as SASE provided currency for the event and tickets created specifically for the occasion.
The next spectacle was a break dancing show, complete with impressive moves and electrifying music. This presentation was a great complement to the lion dance, as the juxtaposition of the dances from very different two time periods served to demonstrate the dynamics of cultural evolution. Both the traditional and modern exhibitions were appreciated equally.
The night served to celebrate and expose the beauty and sanctity of one of the many diverse cultures at the Colorado School of Mines. Food, friends, and fun all converged on this special night. The Year of the Snake had quite a spectacular and unforgettable beginning thanks to CSM’s very own Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers.