Since 27 years, the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Chinese Student Association invites the Fairbanks community to celebrate Chinese New Year with them. So they did this Saturday. This year, the festivities were a little late. The year of the Roaster is already in full swing since more than two weeks. The ballroom in the Wood Center is a favorite location for community events. No wonder that it is hard to get a reservation for the Saturday you want, especially, when events like Valentine’s Day mean a competition for the same resource by other student groups like the Latin Dance Club or various music orchestras and bands.
The event started with a delicious Chinese buffet prepared by AK Buffet Restaurant, a local restaurant in East Fairbanks in a mall on Third Street. There was Asian style cooked fish, various dishes with beef, pork or chicken, chicken kebab, vegetables delight, a variety of filled dumplings, flour dumplings, white rice, fried rice and fried noodles. There was American style strawberry and chocolate cream cake as a dessert.
In former years, there was the original New Year’s rice cake with raisins as dessert. To be honest, I prefer the rice cake over the cream cake, but I guess they tried something different as there were always large leftovers of rice cake. Looking at this event’s leftover desserts reveals that people were just full from the delicious dishes and hence skipped dessert.
I decided to forego taking a picture of my plate. Because of the long queue, the servers had put the various dishes onto the plate aiming at being fast. In other words, the arrangement of the food on the plate was not Instagram worthy. 😉 However, it smelled and tasted delicious. 🙂
The special guests
An employee from the Chinese embassy in San Francisco, the Chancellor and his wife, and the Chinese and American Kung Fu champion were among the special guests. I am not good at estimating how many people were there. According to the numbers on the tickets, there must have been over 400 people assuming the ticket numbers started with 1 and no number was left out.
Since there was no dress code on the tickets or event fliers, Fairbanksans did showed up in what ever they wanted. At the long tables with red table clothes, you could see the dressed-up woman in a cocktail dress sitting side-by-side with someone who was dressed as if they had mushed with their dog team to the event. Many women and little kids wore traditional outfits. Only few men did so.
The program started out with the buffet dinner. Afterwards the kids performed two dances, and wished the adults a Happy New Year. In return, they got little red envelops with money and a fruit.
Next was a Jasmine Flower dance performed by the students of Chinese 102 and 202 in self-made costumes. They had cut the long sleeves of white Tees to 3/4 and sewed lace on the sleeves and bottom of the Tees as finish. The greenery maxi skirts had a flare cut. The hand pieces were self-made paper flowers.
The beautiful dance was followed by an extra-ordinary kung fu demonstration by the Chinese and American kung fu champion. His movements were so fast that the camera couldn’t catch them except at the end when he took the applause.
The woman in her beautiful red and black sheath dress sang a Chinese opera song as well as a temporary Chinese hit. She also performed in some of the dances. There was also a man’s vocal solo and a choir singing a gospel.
The clothing pageant presented various traditional Chinese clothes. Here are some close-ups of my favorite outfits.
LBD with rose embroidery, multiple strands of pearls, van, and L.K. Bennett open toe pumps
Fairbanks high school student modeling a pink silk suit
Purple jacquard jacket with butterfly motives
The UAF students of Chinese 102 and 202 performed Little Apple – a hip hop from China. Between the various performances there was drawing of door prizes. We won a roaster window panel.
Which is your favorite in this fashion show? Do you like Chinese food?
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Photo of me: G. Kramm
Other photos: N. Mölders
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