It's officially the year of the Dragon and what better way to celebrate than the annual Chinese Spring Festival Celebration Party hosted by the Caltech C right on the Caltech campus!! This event consists of a buffet style dinner with authentic Chinese dishes followed by a cultural performance showcasing the rich history and traditions of China through dancing, singing, skits, poetry, etc. to welcome in a new year.
I was really excited not only for a delicious dinner but also the showcase of performances. The celebration was right on Caltech campus in the auditorium of the Baxter Building. I got there right as the event started and to my pleasant surprise, there were a lot of people lining up for the event. The buffet dinner had a variety of dishes and certainly filled me up!
Then, the highly anticipated main performance events and was very well attended-- the whole auditorium was practically filled with families and people of all different ages!I was mesmerized by beautifully choreographed dances with colorful costumes and also, the rich culture they represented. For instance, there was a dance inspired by the horse riding of the Manchus, an ethnic minority from the northern regions such as inner Mongolia. This dancers really elegantly conveyed the integral importance of horse-riding in the culture such as during hunting and the choreography consisted of many fast dance moves and high jumps!
Moreover, since this celebration is indeed a celebration of the beginning of Spring according to the Lunar calendar and the end of Winter, there was a dance group from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) that came and performed a Spring Festival dance:
*The dancers wore blossoms as headpieces to symbolize the coming and welcoming of Spring!*
Moreover, there were poetry readings and also talent performances such as music and singing from participants of all ages:
There was even one elderly participant who was so inspired by how quickly time flies by and fast paced progress that he was inspired to write a poem in the traditional Chinese format and recited it in Cantonese. Also, there were comedy skits that elicited laughter from the audience about a young soon to be wed couple with many (hilarious) miscommunications:
I realized how this Spring Festival is so much more than celebrating the lunar calendar beginning of Spring and end of Winter-- this celebration is a way for all generations to come together, celebrate the rich history and traditions and to welcome in the New Year with hope and optimism.
Here's a happy, healthy and successful New Year! Cheers to the Year of the Dragon!
My favorite part about Caltech is the Houses! The easiest way to describe them is as Hogwarts houses: each has their own personality and group of people and the first thing you do at Caltech is go through a “sorting” process. The people are what makes the Houses at Caltech so great. As a frosh, it’s amazing to be able to come in and immediately have a group of 100+ people to support you. Because the Houses have students from every grade, you make friends with upperclassmen and can ask for help on tons of things like:
It’s crazy to think that it has been four years now since I was applying to college. I remember it vividly. This week we’re spending some time reflecting on our personal admissions processes, and how we ended up at Caltech. There’s one question though that I wanted to spin out into a separate post: “what advice would you give to the admitted class of 2025?” And I think the best way to do this is to tell a more detailed story than I did in my other post.
These past six months have been a whirlwind- from having to move out of Caltech housing in March within a week’s notice due to COVID-19, to starting the first term of my junior year, I’ve definitely experienced a lot of change. When I went home in March, it was to a completely new state-my family moved from Chino, CA to New Jersey in January (great timing, huh?). While I missed seeing my friends from home, it was fun to have the chance to explore a completely new place. The pandemic obviously limited what I could see and do, but I got to experience walks through nature and along rivers normally foreign to a SoCal native and had some time to focus on bioinformatics research for the lab I work with on campus.