新年快乐(Xin Nian Kuai Le)!
While restrictions were placed to limit the number of guests gathering for Chinese New Year celebrations last year, everyone is beyond excited to look forward to a blast with vaccination opportunities. Marking February 1st this year, the year of the Tiger begins following the second new moon after the Winter Solstice. What most don’t know is that according to the Chinese Zodiac, 2022 marks the year of the Water Tiger that cycles every 60 years only. The year of the Tiger will be all about making massive changes. It will be a year of adventure and risk-taking to rediscover enthusiasm. Everyone is revved up, charity is at an all-time high, and social progress appears to be attainable once more.
On January 20th, Sunway University Chinese New Year Celebration ‘Leaping into the New Year’ took place at Sunway University Foyer and Boulevard. At 11 am sharp, Lion Dance was performed by the Chinese Independent School Alumni who officiated the celebration, followed by a spectacular orchestra presented by Sunway University Ensemble. Besides, there are other performances such as the Diabolo Performance and 24 Festive Drums Performance. Not to mention the Face Changing Performance, which everyone was excited about. Nothing more than music and dance could show Malaysia’s multicultural traditions. The Reunion Performance included the traditional dance components of the three major ethnic groups.
An exhibition area displayed a series of information and knowledge about Chinese New Year culture and traditions. In addition, it also showcased the culture of Tiger Dance which is associated with the Year of Tiger. The Treasure Trove and Nostalgia Booth allowed students to play traditional folk games like shuttlecock kicking and hopscotch. At the Calligraphy Booth, students can experience writing Spring Festival couplets or purchase the finished work as a gift for family and friends.
Meanwhile, a Fortune Booth was set up to draw fortune sticks by shaking the cylindrical bamboo container. After receiving prosperity blessings, students can head over to the wishing area to make a New Year’s wish and bless for an auspicious new year. To welcome the New Year ahead, the Wishing Pavillion was prepared for students to review and reflect towards the old year and make their New Year wishes.
After the physical session that morning, Sunway University CISA club sought to deliver double the happiness, merriness, and fun with their night session, “An Evening Celebration with Sunway”, which commenced at 7:50pm and was broadcasted via the Sunway University Chinese New Year Celebration Facebook Page. It garnered over six thousand viewers and three thousand comments as of reporting, indicating a very active and enthusiastic audience! 97 days, 2328 hours, and 139680 minutes had gone into the preparation for this highly anticipated event, and it was nothing short of spectacular.
To open the event, a “Footprint of SUCNY” video built up hype through a montage of past grand CNY displays on campus and the Chinese community coming together to share their culture with Sunway University. In addition, a “Native Culture” video featured interviews with Chinese students of different native backgrounds, namely Hainanese native Crystal, Hakka native Christopher, Hokkien natives Yuki and Wan Ying, Teochew natives Yi Heng and Xiao Thong, and Heng Hua native Jin Yaug. These students enlightened audiences with some insights on what their native traditions are during CNY as well as reminded viewers of the importance and responsibility of preserving the cultural dialects that were passed on from one’s ancestors.
Next, Professor Elizabeth Lee’s opening ceremony message was full of warmth and sincerity as she spoke about how much she has missed having both local and international students come to campus to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which had been custom for the past 20 years up until the pandemic had hit. Last year’s celebrations were certainly more muted than usual. Still, the virtual celebrations that helped lift the festive spirits demonstrated that the Sunway community persists in finding ways to celebrate with each other, always together “in our hearts”. On top of expressing her excitement for the roaring new year, she encouraged everyone to look out for one another by keeping themselves protected and getting the necessary booster shots.
The night’s first act was a drum performance from the iconic Sunway University 24 Festive Drums Team, which empowered audiences and kicked off the series of acts on a strong beat. This was followed by a gorgeous Chinese jazz dance cover. Next, the Sunway University Ensemble gave a sensational performance with an orchestral take on the popular traditional CNY song, “Gong Xi Gong Xi”, taking audiences on a rollercoaster journey from emotional and mellow to upbeat and climactic. Indeed, what a diverse range of artistic expressions these were!
Then, Chris Loo from J&C Magic performed a CNY-themed magic show act. How did he make use of an RM50 note, a lighter, a tissue and some mandarin oranges in his first spectacle? There’s no better way to explain than for one to watch themselves! Meanwhile, in his second act, he turned blank pieces of paper into ang pao money – now, wouldn’t that trick come in handy?
Following up, Saltee Band passed on lots of blessings through their performance of an uplifting song. The lyrics reminded one to cherish friends, family and togetherness and to reward others with kindness.
After a few enlightening performances, several DJs from MY, a Malaysian-Chinese language private radio station and MCs from GoXuan, a Malaysian-Chinese language station operated by Astro Radio Sdn Bhd tuned in to convey their brief new year greetings. The DJs include Aki, Daniel and Phei Yong from MY and Joe, Maq and BrocoLee from GoXuan.
Performers from Fingerstar Art and Dance Studio were also invited to perform a fascinating ancient Chinese dramatic art ‘Bian Lian’ (face changing performance).
Finally, to close off the eventful night, the lunar new year’s most energetic and vibrant performance, a ‘Lion Dance’ was performed by Sunway University CISA club.
This year marks Sunway University’s 8th Year of the Chinese New Year celebrations with the objective of bringing endless laughter and joy despite all the strains and obstacles to everyone. Especially since the last two years have been difficult, this celebration aims to bring hope for this prosperous festive season. With that, Sunway University Chinese New Year celebration 2022 <Roaring Tiger, Spring of Vigour> officially came to an end.
With that, Sunway Echo Media would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a fantastic and fabulous year ahead. Happy Chinese New Year!
Written by: Jamie, Isabel and Michelle
Edited by: Maki