Year of the Goat

June 18th, 2015 10:26 am

First Posted: 2/23/2015

SCRANTON — Approximately 100 people attended a Chinese New Year festival on Feb. 22 in Brennan Hall at the University of Scranton.

The fifth annual festival was sponsored by the Scranton Chinese School, which offers the community classes in Chinese language and culture.

In 2015, Chinese New Year, the “Year of the Goat,” was celebrated on Feb. 19.

Shuhua Fan, Ph.D., associate professor of history at the University of Scranton and co-operator of the school with Drs. Yaodong Bi and Chaogui Zhang, said her favorite part of the program is the performances by Chinese school students.

“The little kids are very cute and amazing to sing songs or recite poems in Chinese, while our higher level students have shown their talent in Chinese. I have also greatly enjoyed the martial arts by Winston and all of the instrument play,” said Fan. “The CNY festival is an important occasion and opportunity for students and especially kids to learn about Chinese New Year traditions.”

The afternoon included a buffet prepared by The University of Scranton Dining Services and families attending the event; poem recitations, singing, a talent show, a martial arts demonstration, and musical performances by Chinese school students.

“We’d like to thank the administrators of the University of Scranton and the university community for their warm support,” said Fan. “We use the university classrooms and other facilities to conduct this service/community outreach project. The Registrar, Provost and IT Offices, Royal Catering, Brennan Hall maintenance staff and our colleagues, have provided the Chinese School with timely and warm support over the years.”

University of Scranton part time philosophy instructor Dr. David White and Shu Qiu, Scranton Chinese School teacher, were hosts of the festival. Qiu is the director of the Dalton Community Library.

White, who was dressed in a festive Chinese jacket at the event, has taken several different levels of Chinese language classes with various teachers at the school. He is currently finishing his MBA program in international business and accounting at The University of Scranton and hopes to use his Chinese language skills when he goes into business.

His wife, University of Scranton professor and director of Asian Studies Ann Pang-White’s family speaks some English, but mostly Mandarin Chinese.

“Both my son and I wanted to learn more Mandarin Chinese so we could talk more and communicate better with our family there,” said White.

White described the Chinese New Year Party as a way for parents “to share with everyone their wonderful cooking and it also enables the families to share with everyone else the skills they have learned, either in the Chinese class, or the other disciplines they’ve learned throughout the year. It’s a way to share with everyone what our children are doing.”

His son, Winston, was also a Scranton Chinese School student.

For more information regarding the Scranton Chinese School, visit