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UTRGV marks 'Year of the Dog' with Lunar New Year Celebration

VIDEO by Amanda Taylor

PHOTO GALLERY by Paul Chouy:  https://utrgv-umc.photoshelter.com/galleries/C00005VpyHfz6R6c/G0000lXt0x1OAMQY/20180222-Lunar-New-Year-EC-PC
Password: newyear (case sensitive)

By Amanda A. Taylor

EDINBURG, TEXAS – MARCH 1, 2018 – If you were born in 1970, 1982, 1994 or 2006, you are officially a dog person.

“The Year of the Dog” was the theme for this year’s Chinese Lunar New Year celebration, held Feb. 22 at the UTRGV Edinburg Campus.

“Dog people are known for being loyal, working hard and bringing happiness,” said Cynthia Yu, international student recruiter for the Office of the International Admissions and Student Services. “We are following the Chinese zodiac, so there are 12 different animals used. And when it comes toward the end of the cycle, it starts all over again.”

Organized by International Admissions and Student Services, this is the third year UTRGV has hosted a special Lunar New Year celebration for its students. Volunteers from the department, and from the Association of National Students, the Chinese Language and Culture Association and visiting scholars made the event possible.

“The Lunar New Year festivities are about spending time with friends and family, eating traditional foods and wishing each other well as we bring in the Chinese New Year,” said Samantha Lopez, director of International Admissions and Services. “It’s a great way to get all the students involved and learn new things about different cultures.”

The festival included a traditional Chinese meal, a dragon dance, games, live musical performances, a wishing tree station and a Chinese and Korean calligraphy table.

“The wishing tree is to promote students to write down well wishes for the New Year,” said Lopez. “When they leave, they get an envelope with a traditional coin for luck.”

A presentation explaining the significance and meaning of Chinese Lunar New Year was lit up on the big screen at the University Ballroom, as students stood in lines for food, participated in games and engaged with peers. 

“We organized this festival because we want to expose our international students and domestic students to other cultures for enrichment and for engagement,” Lopez said.

Lopez’s department is driven to promote different cultures while getting international students involved in the process. With about 719 international students enrolled through the department from 67 different countries, Lopez said it’s important to cull events that highlight student achievements. For example, the department is set for the International Women’s Day event on March 9 at the UTRGV Brownsville Campus, where scholarships will be given out to outstanding international students.

Lin Wang, guest speaker and associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance, said the events at the Lunar New Year celebration were authentic and wonderfully executed. 

“Lunar New Year celebrations traditionally last for two weeks, and also mark the beginning of the spring season,” she said. “There were so many great opportunities for students to experience these traditional types of performances to help celebrate this.”

The Year of the Dog.

Chinese Lunar New Year celebration

Chinese Language and Culture Association and visiting scholars

The theme for this year’s Chinese Lunar New Year celebration, held Feb. 22 at the UTRGV Edinburg Campus, was “The Year of the Dog.” Organized by International Admissions and Student Services, this is the third year UTRGV has hosted a special Lunar New Year celebration for its students. Volunteers from the department, and from the Association of National Students, the Chinese Language and Culture Association and visiting scholars made the event possible. The festival included a traditional Chinese meal, a dragon dance, games, live musical performances, a wishing tree station and a Chinese and Korean calligraphy table. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)

ABOUT UTRGV
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

MEDIA CONTACTS
Amanda.Taylor01@utrgv.edu
Senior Writer / 956-665-7995

Marci.Caltabiano@UTRGV.edu
UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications 956-665-2742