Photos and story by Kashima Allen / Contributing Writer
On Sunday afternoon, Murfreesboro’s Discovery Center hosted a Chinese New Year event, which brought together various cultural backgrounds. Celebrating Chinese art, music, history, dance and much more, the day was fully devoted to guests having fun. Throughout the afternoon people could make their own art, play with instruments and even try Chinese tea to better understand the Chinese culture.
Kennidee Jones, a 25-year-old Murfreesboro resident, said she’s always wanted to learn what kind of things happen during a Chinese New Year.
“I’m not from a Chinese background,” Jones said. “But I’m always here at the Discovery Center and saw about this happening. I always wanted to know how people of a Chinese background, or really any cultural background, celebrate their new year.”
With more than 70 people in attendance, laughter, music and fun lit up the room. Children ran wild and played games while others tasted Chinese tea and crafted Chinese art. Then, the “lion dance” stole the attention from all attendees. The lion dance is a traditional dance of Chinese background, where performers copy a lion’s movements in a lion costume. The dance is performed in the hopes of bringing good fortune.
Pegah Kadivar, one of the lion dance performers, said the event was a chance to celebrate life and bring her culture closer together.
“A Chinese New Year for me means my culture coming together as one to celebrate a new beginning,” Kadivar said. “This year our new year is really on February 16, but we celebrate all the way up till then. Just like Americans do, we have big parties and celebrate life with friends and families … Anyone who is missing out is missing out on learning something exciting and new.”