NYUAD students, faculty, and staff wished each other a Happy New Year while celebrating at the University's first annual Lunar New Year event on February 3. The holiday, which marked the beginning of the lunar calendar — this year represented by the Rabbit — is celebrated in Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tibetan, and Mongolian cultures.
Welcome speeches were given by both Tae-ick Cho, a councilor at the UAE Korean Embassy, and NYUAD Vice Chancellor Al Bloom. After that, the festivities began! And the NYUAD Cultural Ambassadors put on quite a show, complete with Chinese and Korean food, fan dancers, a Korean Pop dance performance, karaoke, and a fashion show featuring Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean styles.
Mark Hoffman, NYUAD Class of 2014, particularly liked the "K-Pop" dance. "It was so cool to see a live performance!" he said. "The costumes and décor were fantastic. The night was very well put together."
The NYUAD Chinese language students also played a big role, reciting poems and writing phrases and names in Chinese characters for revelers to take home. The local embassies also got involved in the celebration, with the Korean Embassy lending traditional instruments and the Chinese Embassy donating books, CDs, and DVDs on Chinese culture.
For Nneka Ojini, NYUAD Class of 2014, who was clad in a traditional Chinese dress called a cheongsam, the best part of the event was the sharing aspect. "I love the way people get excited about cultural things. The night was a great learning experience."
After organizing Lunar New Year, UAE National Day, and Diwali celebrations, one can only guess what amazing festivity the Cultural Ambassadors will plan next!