Chinese New Year Celebration in Kalamazoo rings in the Year of the Monkey.

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The Confucius Institute at Western Michigan University sponsored and participated in the 35th Chinese New Year celebration organized by the Chinese Association of Greater Kalamazoo on Feb. 6.

Before the sold-out audience at Chenery Auditorium, the Confucius Institute at Western Michigan University presented two programs on its own:  The folk dance, “Tibetan Youth,” demonstrated the strength and beauty of the locals from Inner Mongolia, while the musical, “the Wandering Songstress,” brought back the nostalgia of Shanghai in the 1920s.

Mingchen Zhao and Ruyuan Yang assisted The Modern Chinese School of Kalamazoo with choreography for two performances. With their help, students from MCSK successfully presented “the Story of Journey to the West” and the “Umbrella Dance of Dai”. Baoqing Qian, who was one of the two MCs, introduced each program with demonstrations of Chinese culture.

The celebration opened with Kalamazoo Vice Mayor’s New Year speech and included Chinese traditional music and dancing. All the performances were more than sensational.

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Monkey is ninth of the 12 animals in the recurring 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle.  It is believed that people who were born in the year of Monkey are energetic, cheerful and intelligent.