Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Oscar Wen
PORTALES — Happy Chinese New Year.TheChristmas season has gone, but another New Year celebration is comingto Eastern New Mexico University - the Chinese New Year Banquet, whichis going to be held on Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the CampusUnion Ballroom.
ENMU has a bignumber of international students from China. The number is expected tocontinually go up due to an exchange program between ENMU and twoChineseuniversities, Sichuan University and Sichuan Music Institute. The exchange program started in the fall of 2004.
Inorder to make those students who are far away from parents feel athome, the school is giving them a celebration for their own new year,according to Rosa Zmora, director of International Affairs atEastern."We have been preparing for this banquet since November of lastyear," said Ms. Zmora. "It is time for people to experience a differentculture."But it was hard to get everyone together, to get to know theculture and to work with another kind of students. I have to rely onthe Chinese students to tell me what they need and what they want," shesaid.
The Chinese students have been working hard and as a team on theupcoming event. There banquet has four parts: history introduction,food, performances and games. The food is probably the most importantand interesting one because it is a vital expression of Chineseculture. It took time for Trevor Ivy, cafeteria manager, to learn howto make all the traditional Chinese dishes because they are totallydifferent from American kinds, especially the main dish - dumpling.
Three of the Chinese girls will produce an alien and unique fashionshow for the American guests, which will display both eastern fine artmaterials and the typical Chinese women dress - Qipao. Besides theChinese students' performances, there will be a big surprise from anAmerican male student, who is going to sing in Chinese that night. "Ithink Chinese is really easy and, to me, it is like second nature, so Iwon't be nervous to sing in Chinese in front of so many people. Andthat is really cool. It's going to be awesome," said Casey Laymon,freshman in vocal music.Casey has a Chinese roommate and he plans to goto China next fall as an exchange student at the Sichuan MusicInstitute for a two-year study. He thinks it is a good opportunityeven though his parents will have a sort of worry."They are just likethe normal parents, thinking about their son leaving for anothercountry. But I want to go really bad," he said.
There will be fun games and secret prizes waiting for all the guests.
The banquet is open to the public. Tickets are $15 each, and must bereserved by Feb. 3. For ticket information, call Diana Cordova at505.562.4914.