BYU club to kick off Asian Month with authentic festivities

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    By Matt Lehnardt

    BYU and the Asian American Club will celebrate Asian Month with a variety of campus events.

    Lunar New Year, also called Chinese New Year, is the biggest holiday in Asia because it is one of the only holidays.

    “We don”t have Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving, so the Lunar New Year is a big deal,” said Sunny Chen, president of the Asian American Club.

    “It”s like all of those holidays rolled into one,” she said.

    Jon Nielson, a returned missionary from Korea, said the Asian New Year is the equivalent to Thanksgiving in the United States.

    “People visit friends and family throughout the week because they have the week off from work beginning on the lunar start of the year,” he said.

    The Lunar New Year is full of traditions, and Nielson said the Koreans have a clever way of teaching the holiday traditions to younger generations.

    “It is customary to first bow to your ancestors, then to your family,” he said.

    Some children also take advantage of a special tradition. “Throughout the holiday if you bow to your elders, they give you money,” Nielson said.

    The first of several events will be Jan. 18. President Merrill J. Bateman will speak about his recent trip to China and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” progress in Asia at noon in 3222 WSC.

    In addition to the lecture, there will also be a dance Jan. 19 in the WSC Ballroom.

    The dance begins at 9 p.m. The cost will be $2 with student ID and $3 without.

    On Jan. 26 there will be a Chinese New Year party sponsored by the Asian American Club.

    Activities will include a dinner, a floor dance performance and a dance.

    To make the dinner authentic, the Asian American Club submitted recipes to BYU Catering, Chen said.

    “This year”s dinner will be the best so far,” she said.

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