Lunar New Year celebrations at SJCC

Hosted by the Vietnamese Student Association, the event featured complementary food and traditional dances

Jeremy Hoang / Times Staff
Dancers from VoVinam, a local martial arts group, perform a traditional Vietnamese Lion Dance.

Drums boomed and people in Lion costumes danced in the student cafeteria on Feb. 22 to ring in the Year of the Cat, as it is called in Vietnam, known more widely as the Year of The Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac. Lunar New Year is traditionally called Tết in Vietnam.

Micah Ong, 18, a social justice major and secretary of the Vietnamese Student Association said they especially enjoyed making the traditional decorations that adorned the cafeteria during the event.

They expressed that they joined the club this year because they felt like they were “disconnected” from their Vietnamese identity.

“It’s definitely helped me feel more secure in my identity,” Ong said.

Bao Truong, 27, a psychology major who did traditional Vietnamese style calligraphy at the event, said he wanted to introduce Vietnamese culture to students in the form of calligraphy, a skill he said he developed on his own.

On the festivities overall, Troung said he felt “very happy” with them.

Cam Binh, a member of VoVinam, the martial arts group responsible for most of the event’s music and traditional dances, said that she also wanted to introduce Vietnamese culture to SJCC and to remind Vietnamese students of their heritage and roots.

“We are living in the USA, but we want to keep our culture,” Binh said.

Ong expressed that for them, Tết is special for the emotional connection they hold to it.

“It’s a time for me to be happy and celebrate,” they shared.