Sunday, February 06, 2011

Party like it's 4709

Madame X and I attended the Lunar New Year celebration at Divine Word College seminary in Epworth, Iowa, on Saturday. The college is just a dozen miles west of our house, along US 20.

Lunar New Year is a big deal at Divine Word because many of its students come from Asia, especially Vietnam. This is the Year of the Cat under the Vietnamese lunar calendar, and in China it is the year 4709, the Year of the Rabbit.

The event started with Mass, with more con-celebrants than I've ever seen (20? 24?). The presider and homilist were Vietnamese missionaries. (One spent seven years in Togo, which, coincidentally is the home country of one of our Divine Word Friends Across Nations Club student friends, Thierry. Our other friend is also African, Joseph from Uganda.)

Though their home cultures do not observe Lunar New Year, Thierry and Joseph were among the students who participated in the holiday pageant, which followed Mass and a delicious Vietnamese/Chinese buffet supper.

The pageant was a variety show -- singing, dancing, a skit and even a priest presenting a magic show -- and my video doesn't do it justice. I hope the shots from the curtain call reflect the excitement of the students.

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