URI to celebrate Chinese New Year, Feb. 1

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KINGSTON, R.I. – January 8, 2009 — The University of Rhode Island will celebrate the Chinese New Year Feb. 1, 2009 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium, 64 Upper College Road, Kingston Campus. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m.

The Chinese New Year of the Ox, also called the Spring Festival, officially arrives Jan. 26. URI’s celebration, organized and sponsored by the Confucius Institute, is free and open to the public. A donation of $5 per adult is encouraged to support the Institute. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. However, individuals may secure a seat in advance by purchasing a $1 raffle ticket at the Confucius Institute in the URI Library.

“URI’s Chinese New Year Celebration is a continuation of its successful Chinese programming and provides a way to welcome a prosperous year in academics, scholarship, research, fund-raising, and global outreach,” says Yan Ma, director of the Institute.

URI’s celebration, supported by URI’s Music Department, will feature music and dance performances, calligraphy, and martial arts. It will also include a retrospective of China-related 2008 events at URI. Individuals who participated in anything related to China in 2008 are welcomed to join the celebration at this “family” party.

The event will showcase URI’s Chinese language learning programs, cultural events, and other URI China programs, as well as its community outreach programs, conferences, and visits to China.

The event is co-sponsored by the URI Chinese Students and Scholars Association, URI’s College of Arts and Sciences, College of the Environment and Life Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Division of Student Affairs, International Engineering Program and Chinese Flagship Program, ACBC EXCHANGE and Chinese Mini Market, both of Cranston, Meimei and Me, Inc. of Providence, PDK Regency of Fall River, Mass., Peking and Tokyo Restaurant of Kingston, Ocean View Gourmet Chinese Restaurant of Narragansett, Ruitang Deng and Fengmin Tian of URI and Timothy George, URI associate professor of history and Ma who is also a professor of library and information studies.

Door prizes include $20 coupons from the Chinese Mini Market, $25 travel coupons from ACBE Exchange, hand-made quilts donated by PDK Regency valued at more than $500, beautifully framed photographs of China donated by Professor George valued at more than $100 each, Confucius Institute T-shirts, and many other Chinese items. Drawings will begin at the celebration and continue throughout the month.

The Year of 2009 is the Year of the Ox according to the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on a 12-year cycle, with an animal representing each year. The ox, or the buffalo, symbolizes prosperity through fortitude and hard work. Ox Years include in 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, and 1997. Interestingly President-elect Barack Obama was born in 1961, a year of the Ox.

There are several payment methods for the program: cash, check, and PayPal (confucius@uri.edu). Checks should be made payable to the “URI Foundation” with a memo noting Confucius Institute at URI. Cash or checks can either be brought or mailed to The Confucius Institute, URI Library, 15 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 02881.

Direction to URI’s Kingston Campus: