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Chinese New Year, a big celebration at Lamar University

More than 300 people attended Lamar University’s Chinese New Year celebration, also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival and the most important among the traditional Chinese festivals.Chinese New Year

“Approximately 19 percent of Lamar University’s faculty and staff population and four percent of the student population are Asian-Americans,” said Imelda Wicks, executive director of Diversity, Inclusive Excellence, and Training Office of Global Diversity and Inclusive Excellence. “Events such as the Chinese New Year celebration are great opportunities to draw attention to the Chinese language, culture and traditions as a unique heritage and culture shared by our growing Chinese community. It also provides Lamar University the opportunity to create partnerships with important leaders of the Asian-American community.”

The Chinese Association of Southeast Texas (CAST) has been celebrating Chinese New Year in the Beaumont area for the past 27 years. This year, CAST partnered up with the Office of Global Diversity and Inclusive Excellence and the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Lamar University for its annual new year event.

“It is very important to our Asian-American community to see that Lamar University celebrates diversity and practices inclusiveness, as many members of our association teach, study or graduate from this institution,” said Dr. Jing Zhang, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Lamar University and president of the Southeast of Texas Chinese Association.

Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally last 15 days from the first day (during a new moon) to the fifteenth day (next full moon). The Chinese New Year for 2019 started on Feb. 5 in Asia (Feb. 4 in the west). The date is determined in the traditional Chinese calendar, which is a lunisolar calendar system, using both lunar and solar cycles to mark time. Each Chinese lunar year is associated with one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac; 2019 is the Year of the Pig.

“As a Lamar University student attending the Chinese New Year Celebration for the very first time, this was a great opportunity for me to experience a different culture. The most fascinating part of the event was that the event was bilingual, in English and Chinese.  I got to experience a taste of China in Beaumont, Texas,” said Justin Norris, Lamar University film major.

For more information on upcoming cultural events at Lamar University. please contact Imelda Wicks, executive director of the Office of Global Diversity at (409) 880-8216 or visit our website https://www.lamar.edu/diversity-inclusion/index.html