By Nicole Winks
On Feb. 8, 2016, the Asian Solidarity Network (ASN) hosted an event for the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Monkey, in collaboration with RA Semi Rivas, a junior. Upon arriving, the attendees were given lucky red envelopes that contained Bee Bucks. Normally, the lucky red envelopes contain varying amounts of Red Pocket Money based on the expectations of the elders that give the envelope.
The event began with video clips from this year’s Lunar New Year celebration in China. The main portion of the event was a presentation by first year Ziqi An on the most important aspects of the celebration of the event in China. Also called the Spring Festival, the Lunar New Year is celebrated in the whole of the Sinosphere, taking place on the first day of the first lunar month marking the beginning of spring.
For the festival, people gather with their friends and family to share their best wishes amongst each other. Three to four generations of family gather for the New Year’s banquet and different areas have different foods or flavors for the banquet. Family is of huge importance during the celebration of the Lunar New Year.
ASN is a new organization on campus. According to one of the co-founders, Dulce Rivas Rangel, it was founded on the passion that people on the campus had for learning about Asian culture. The other co-founder, Shalondra Brown, expressed that the organization was meant to nurture the love for Asian culture.
Even though there is not a large Asian population on Salem’s campus, there is a need for representation of the Asian cultures. However, the organization is not solely for Asians and it accepts members of any background who want to learn about the cultures across Asian nations, not just China or Japan or Korea, but all of the Asian nations. The organization has already elected board members but is open to any student that would like to join.