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Group rings in 'Year of the Rat'

February 10, 2008

Members of the Pilipino American Student Society perform for the Lunar New Year Show on Saturday evening at Wharton Center’s Pasant Theatre. Performances helped to celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Rat with dances, a Taekwondo demonstration and fashion show.

Wendy Yuen saw break dancing, Taekwondo and step dancing at the Lunar New Year Show on Saturday, and couldn’t pick a performance she liked the most.

“It’s difficult to say which act was the best, they all had their great parts,” said Yuen, a marketing senior.

The Lunar New Year show, held at Wharton Center and sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Student Organization, or APASO, was a celebration based on the Lunisolar Calendar. The calendar is drawn from both the lunar and solar cycles.

Each year, a different animal from the zodiac is represented. This year, the Year of the Rat, members of APASO wanted to make the show more elaborate than usual.

“We put the show on every year, but this year we decided to put it on with co-hosts,” said My Le, a hospitality business junior and committee head of the show.

Members of APASO collaborated with the Chinese Student Coalition, Vietnamese Student Association, and Korean Student Association, or KSA, to put on a show of lights, sounds and dance in celebration of the new year. The groups had not combined to put the Lunar New Year show together since 2005.

Audience members with interest in joining any of the groups saw firsthand the kind of activities they do.

Min Cho, a medical technology junior, came to see KSA perform a traditional Korean drum piece called May-A-Ri.

“It’s the organization I am interested in joining,” Cho said. “I’m just trying to check it out.”

Marketing sophomore Jack Lin had friends come to the show to see his performance in Lambda Phi Epsilon’s step-dance routine of slapping, chanting and stomping.

“This is the first time we’ve participated in the Lunar Show,” Lin said. “It’s exciting.”

James Yang, an electrical engineering graduate student, came to see Lin, who he stepped with in the past.

“I’m here to support my brother,” Yang said. “The step routine has been my favorite part.”

Two dance groups from J.W. Sexton High School in Lansing, the Flower Rain Shower Dancers and the Butterfly Girls, made a special appearance at the show. Committee members also put on a fashion show in the second act to show off traditional Asian attire.

“I’ve been to cultural events before, and I knew this would be a great experience,” Yuen said.

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