By Urmi Pandya
The annual Lunar New Year Festival, organized by the OCA-CVC (Organization of Chinese Americans, Central Virginia Chapter), took place for the first time at Henrico High School on Saturday, January 28 from 10:30-2:30. The festival was filled with performances, presentation of awards for the youth, traditional decorations, food, and more.
Several Henrico High School students came to the festival as volunteers.
“I come to volunteer because it’s really fun and I love watching the performances,” said sophomore Aipara Kulzhanova.
Others came as just visitors to see a celebration of traditional culture and cuisine.
“The most interesting thing here is to see all these people unified for something that’s special to them. That culture is not dead in this Western culture,” commented junior Saad Bhatti.
Junior Jon Saksvig pointed out that “there’s a lot more traditional food this year. It does the culture justice.”
Many appreciated the traditional dance performances by various age groups that took place in the school auditorium.
“The lion dance is interesting,” junior Zack Gaddy said.
The festival also served as a social gathering.
“I think it’s great to be able to connect with the culture and meet new people or see old friends whom you haven’t seen in a while,” commented junior Brenda Liu.
The festival overall promoted a celebration of traditional Chinese culture through the food, performances, decorations, and social interactions that created a sense of cultural awareness among both Warriors and other citizens of the community.