Hopping into a New Year: Andover Celebrates the Year of the Rabbit

At the performance, students from Chinese 420 performed 偶像練習生 (Ǒuxiàng liànxí shēng).

In celebration of the Lunar New Year, Asian Women Empowerment (AWE) and Asian Society hosted a screening of the award-winning film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” last Friday at 7 p.m. in the Office of Community and Multicultural Development (CaMD). Asian Society followed this event with a Lunar New Year Celebration at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday in the Underwood Room.

Ashley Song ’23, a board member of AWE, initiated the idea of a movie screening and partnering with Asian Society. Song appreciated the wide outreach the collaboration between the two groups brought to the celebration. 

“AWE wanted to do a collaboration with Asian Society and we thought a movie would be fun. Whether with Asians or with non-Asians, ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ has just been a really popular movie… With the timing of things, it also lined up for us to make it part of Lunar New Year programming… We also utilized the energy and the attention on Lunar New Year to get the conversation started about Asian people’s experiences… We recognize that AWE and Asian society reach different audiences at our school, and we wanted to bring everyone together,” said Song.

Pema Sherpa ’23, another board member of AWE, attributed her enjoyment of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” to its relatability. She pointed out her personal connection to the mother-daughter relationship depicted in the movie.

“‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ gave us a representation of mother-daughter relationships that I think is pretty common amongst me and my Asian friends. [In the movie,] the daughter just wanted her mother’s approval and to have a strong connection with her mother, and the way they both expressed their love for each other was very different. I think that’s a common theme in relationships between Asian mothers and daughters, whether or not they celebrate Lunar New Year,” said Sherpa.

The celebration featured scallion pancakes, dumplings, and lantern making. Ethan Sun ’23, a board member of Asian Society, hoped that the celebration was a relaxing, fun gathering for students. 

“I could tell people were having fun –– that was really nice. It was just a good way for anybody who wants to celebrate the Lunar New Year to come together and have fun. There were people making lanterns and just sitting around with food, talking to each other, and playing cards… And then because it’s traditional to ring in the New Year with dumplings, we ordered some dumpling catering, and we had scallion pancakes for vegetarians,” said Sun.

Addison Deng ’26, an attendee of the movie screening, was impressed by the collaboration between AWE and Asian Society. This year is Deng’s first time celebrating Lunar New Year away from home, and the celebration at Andover built a sense of familiarity and community for her. 

Honestly, I can’t summarize the movie because it’s just really confusing, but I loved it… I am actually pretty surprised and pleased with the way the clubs at Andover, at least, plan these events… They remind me that even though I’m not with my family, I still have another community as well as people who share similar experiences,” said Deng.

Other students, such as Chloe Kasule-Wallace ’26, celebrated Lunar New Year for the first time at the event. Kasule-Wallace is grateful for the cultural exposure and opportunity to try new types of food. 

This has been a very fun experience, to get to celebrate a new holiday… The food is good, I like trying new flavors. I think it’s really cool that people from all around the world are all here to celebrate an Asian holiday,” said Kasule-Wallace.

Tim Liu, the Assistant Director of Admissions and faculty advisor for Asian Society, enjoyed the Lunar New Year celebration and the preceding events including the Lion and Dragon Dance Parade and the annual talent show hosted by the Chinese Department on January 19. The series of events reminded him of the celebrations he experienced in China. 

“This year was extra fun because we also celebrated with students at the Chinese Department talent show and the Asian Society Lunar New Year event. I really enjoyed participating in several Lunar New Year events over the course of several days because they more closely mirrored the multi-day Lunar New Year celebrations that I experienced in China… It’s wonderful that students at Andover have opportunities to celebrate such a culturally significant holiday and that the school supports these celebrations, which are invaluable for building a community here at Andover,” wrote Liu in an email to The Phillipian.

Editor’s Note: Ashley Song ’23 is an Illustration Editor for The Phillipian.