Columbia Students Welcome New Year with Gala Celebration

Click on the image to see photos from this year's Chinese New Year gala. slideshow
—Photos by Eason Huang

Columbia University’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CUCSSA) rang in the “Year of the Rooster”, celebrating the lunar New Year with a Spring Festival Gala on Sunday, January 29, at Lerner Hall Auditorium. The gala event drew nearly 1000 people, mostly students.

The show featured mostly students, from Columbia and other schools, performing traditional Chinese dance, singing, stage plays, comedy and a magic show.  One of the highlights of the three-hour show was Jiang Changjian, who is both a professor at Fudan University and the host of a popular Chinese television talent show, The Strongest Brain, which brings science and culture to a broad audience in an engaging way. Jiang served as masters of ceremonies for the event and also was the guest presenter in language arts, performing a comic dialogue in the format of his TV program.  Another highlight was the band, Gala, that performed for the evening event.

“Many Chinese students can’t go back to our family for the Chinese New Year,” said Xi Cao, a senior in industrial engineering and operations research.  “Thanks to CUCSSA for bringing a taste of a true Spring Festival celebration where we can feel the warmth of family.”

Minghao Cheng, a third-year physics student from Anyang, China, and the president of the Columbia University Chinese Students and Scholars Association, said that one of the most rewarding moments came when he saw audience members waving their phones with flash.

“This is actually the best Chinese New Year Gala this year,” Lignian Kong, a senior in mechanical engineering, said.  “I wouldn’t believe it was actually a student-run event if I was not told so.  CUCSSA is brilliant.”

The Columbia University Chinese Students and Scholars Association (“CUCSSA”) was established in 1996 and is the largest non-profit organization, composed  mainly of and run by Chinese students and scholars in the United States.

—by Joanne Hvala

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