The Chinese New Year is one of the most important traditional Chinese holidays. This year it was celebrated on February 10 and is the Year of the Snake. Traditionally, friends and family get together eat traditional Chinese food, play games and celebrate the year that has passed.

On February 17th, with the help of faculty, students of University of Michigan-Dearborn, and members of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) put on a special celebration party to ring in the New Year. The event featured food, a speech from the chancellor, and was followed by a formal show with about 30 performers!

Since the 3+2 program was put into place the Chinese student population has increased greatly on campus. With this program, students from China that are excelling at their home universities have the opportunity to come to the United States and study here as well. Students must have at least three years of study in China, and when they have completed the program they receive a Bachelor’s Degree from University of Michigan-Dearborn, and a Master’s Degree from their home university.

In 2011 for this event alone, the number of attendees increased by 150 and in 2012 it increased by 250!

To put together the event , a special committee is formed of students from the CSSA and other students at UM-D.

The purpose of the show was to better familiarize students, faculty and people around the area about Chinese culture. The food served was traditional Chinese food and the performance featured about thirty performers that showcased traditional Chinese entertainment during the New Year.

The event is based off of the Chinese culture, but it also shows off the diversity of other cultures as well. Students from different ethnic backgrounds performed and others were encouraged to show the traditions of their own culture.

With a new country comes a new language and policies. As I was speaking to Alex, he told me of the difficulties of booking a room. Because there were so many people expected to attend, booking a room became a challenge. However with the help of some faculty members, the show was able to go on.

“Along with the faculty in the international relations office, I would like to thank advisor Emily Wang, Professor Yubao Chen, Ann Lanpkin-Williams and the Vice Chancellor for all their help in making this event possible,” said Zidong Alex Li, president of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association.

If you would like to find out more about Chinese culture, or would like to find more events like this, you can visit CSSA’s Facebook page at: