UTEP Celebrates the Year of the Dog with annual Chinese New Year Celebration

Jake Deven, Contributor

Students, faculty, and parents came together in a packed Union Cinema to celebrate the incoming Year of the Dog with traditional Chinese performances at UTEP on Saturday afternoon.

“This is what universities are for. These incredible celebrations of culture, friendship, and learning. To come together to understand each other and develop the skills, abilities and confidence to be competitive in the world,” said Alberto Lopez, assistant vice president for the Office of University Relations.

Among those welcoming the Chinese New Year on Saturday were: Boy Scouts of America, third graders from Mesita Elementary, fifth graders from Eastwood Knolls Elementary, students from EPCC, Rotary Youth Exchange students, and the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce (TCC) in El Paso and Juarez.

Performances by third graders from Mesita and fifth graders from Eastwood Knolls included a rendition of the “Beautiful Jasmine Flower Dance” and a Mongolian Chopstick Dance. Students of the Rotary Youth Exchange presented the audience with a “Sunshine Flower Dance,” while students from EPCC performed a rendition of the “Green Dragon Crescent Moon Sword” with their professor, KangHoon Choi.

In addition to performances by students from the elementary schools and EPCC, the audience was treated to a few performances by younger children who performed a “Happy Bunny” dance, which is a Chinese version of “Old MacDonald had a Farm.”

Following these performers was a brief presentation by the TCC showcasing the progress the organization has brought to the community. The TCC partnered with companies around the country to bring more jobs and development to the area.

The Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce has been in this area for over 20 years, and we have worked with hundreds of companies to bring jobs and economic prosperity to the area,” said the president of the TCC.

Finishing off the event was a performance by all performers called “Red Envelopes with the Wealth God.” The red envelope is a gift traditionally presented during the New Year. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and is a symbol to ward off evil spirits.