‘Lunar New Year’ cancellation brings ‘Cultural Evening’

See how Multnomah County Library made up for the weather-cancelled February celebration in outer East Portland with the ‘Asian Cultural Evening’ …

The Holgate Branch Library is filled with people waiting for the “Asian Cultural Evening” program to begin.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A brief-yet-intense blizzard swept across East Portland on February 20, cancelling the annual “Lunar New Year” celebration planned for the Holgate Branch Library.

It seemed for a while as if everyone would have to wait until February 5, of next year for the next Lunar New Year to come around – until Multnomah County Library announced a special program, on the evening of May 15, which they called an “Asian Cultural Evening”, at that library.

Checking in with program organizers is Multnomah County Public Library Chinese Regional Librarian Toan Lam-Sullivan.

“When weather cancelled our celebration in February, many were very sad and disappointed; but, we felt it was better for everyone to be safe,” said Multnomah County Public Library Chinese Regional Librarian Toan Lam-Sullivan.

“Tonight, at our ‘make up’ celebration, we have seven groups performing music, dances, and martial arts,” Lam-Sullivan said. “Because this is the ‘Year of the Dog’, I’m sure a favorite will be the children performing the ‘Puppy Dog Dance’ – it’s so cute!”

These young performers with the Portland Arts and Cultural Center present the “Puppy Dog Dance”.

-4 Making crafts was a favorite activity at the “Asian Cultural Evening”.

Also in the library were craft activities – such as decorating small tote bags, and seeing one’s name written by a Vietnamese calligrapher.

“With May being ‘Asian Pacific Heritage Month’ makes the timing fortuitous, providing an opportunity to commemorate and celebrate with our multicultural communities,” Lam-Sullivan told East Portland News.

Performing “Happy Drumming” are these members of the Portland Chinese Woman’s Group.

Vietnamese calligrapher Hoan Vang demonstrates his art.

“And at this event, we enjoy celebrating and sharing our cultures with everyone in the community,” Lam-Sullivan said. “It’s also a way to show our communities that the library is respectful from a multicultural perspective; we’re helpful to everyone, and we celebrate all peoples.”

As the program played out, the audience swelled, with all present enjoying the colorful pageantry and lively music.

This student from the Summit Wushu Academy performs a martial arts demonstration with a very long sword.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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