Many East Portland celebrations mark start of Chinese New Year

If you missed the Portland Classical Chinese Trio’s performance at Midland Library this week – you can still catch these outer East Portland celebrations …

Adding cultural elegance to the main hall of Midland Library is the Portland Classical Chinese Trio.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Celebrations of the Lunar New Year, celebrated by many Asian cultures, are underway in outer East Portland.

We stopped by Midland Library to take in a performance of the Portland Classical Chinese Trio on February 12.

Jerry Lin plays a two-stringed classical Chinese instrument called a derhu.

“We’ve each played our instruments for several years,” said spokesman Jerry Lin. “We’ve been playing together for three or four years.”

Emily Deng serenades playing the zheng.

Emily Deng added, “I think that we enjoy working with each other. We enjoy entertaining others as much as we enjoy entertaining ourselves, at the same time.”

Deng says her instrument is a classical Chinese zheng. “It’s very similar to a Western zither. It has it has 21 strings with movable bridges. I play it with [finger picks made from] tortoise shell fingernails. I learned to play this instrument when I was 6 years old, back in my hometown of Uhon near Shanghai.”

Henry Hung plays one of the many bamboo flutes he brought to the performance. “I have more than one, because each flute plays in a different key,” he says.

More celebrations …

February 17
> Lunar New Year — Celebrate the Lunar New Year traditions of China, Vietnam, and Korea with dance, music, games, food, and crafts. It runs from 1:30 – 5 p.m. at your Midland Library, 805 S.E. 122nd Avenue. Call (503) 988-5392 for more information.

February 18
> Celebrate the Chinese Year of the Rat – Portland Community College’s Southeast Center, in partnership with Legin Restaurant, is hosting its annual Asian New Year Celebration at 9:30 a.m. today. The event, which will be held at the Restaurant (8001 S.E. Division Street, just west of SE 82nd Avenue of Roses), features music, arts and crafts, entertainment, games, food, door prizes, and plenty of lion dancers. Food is $1, and parking is free. The Asian New Year Celebration is open to the public. Children are welcome. For more information, call (503) 788-6262.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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