2012 Livingston Chinese Culture Day

(Editor's Note: A student volunteer shares her expereience in participating LCCD on Jan 28, 2012)

By Ruiying Xia
Grade 10, Livingston

LCCD One of the biggest events in Livingston, the Livingston Chinese Culture Day (LCCD) was successfully held in Livingston High School on Jan.28th, 2012.

The main purpose of holding this event was to celebrate the Chinese New Year. LCCD has already become a tradition in Livingston for more than 10 years, and it has also provided great chances for people to communicate and to make new friends. In other words, LCCD brings all the Chinese people in this community together. This year, LCCD was sponsored by Livingston Stone Christian Church, Livingston Chinese Association, Livingston Huaxia Chinese School, Livingston High School, and Livingston Youth and Community Services. The whole event started from 3:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., consisted of culture exhibitions, children’s games, adult riddles and games, Chinese arts and crafts workshops, senior fun activities, food service, and the spectacular performance.

Assigned to help with arts and crafts, I worked with children to make simple handiwork from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The room was divided into four parts, which were origami making, lantern making, paper-cutting, and picture coloring. I was mainly responsible for the lantern making part. Because this was my first year volunteering in LCCD and never having learned how to make a Chinese lantern before, I was originally really nervous at first. I did not know what to do, and I had no confidence to teach small children. Fortunately, the teacher in charge gave me a hand. She taught me how to make the simple version of the beautiful Chinese lantern and encourage me to do my best. When the event started, a lot of people, including both adults and children, came to the arts and crafts room, and the lantern making became the most popular section. I could still handle it at first, but as more and more people coming, I started feeling stressed. Because I was the only one who took charge of this section, it seemed impossible for me to teach and to help every single person. Finally, I asked another volunteer to help me out so that this section would not be like a total mess. While teaching a 10-year-old girl making a lantern, she told me that she was really happy today, because she not only played a lot of games and learned several skills to make different crafts, but also gained more knowledge about the Chinese culture.

“I was born here [in America], so I have never had a chance to experience a real New Year celebration in China, so I feel really lucky today because I am experiencing the Chinese traditions and the of Chinese people celebrating the New Year. ”

After two hours’ working, I felt tired but satisfied, because I realized that these children were not just simply having fun, they were gaining a connection to their heritage.

After the various activities and the dinner, the spectacular performance started in the auditorium. There were 17 programs (Lion Dance, Kungfu, dances, modern violin, Zheng solo, etc.) in total, and most of these were essences of the Chinese traditional culture. All of the lovely performers showed their passion and spirit in celebrating the Dragon Year.

Overall, it was a successful event and everyone enjoyed it: adults enjoyed it because this event brought back their old memories of celebrating the Chinese New Year in China, and children enjoyed it because they learned more about their motherland. Although we live in the States, we all have the responsibility to continue our Chinese traditions, which is another reason for the Livingston Chinese Culture Day.