Lexington plans remote Year of the Tiger celebrations

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On January 31, the Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL) will celebrate the Lunar New Year, ushering in an upcoming year that portends prosperity and fortune: the Year of the Tiger.

The event will be broadcast live from 8-9 p.m.

Following:Asian American History Benefit Concert

Following:Lexington’s Lunar New Year goes virtual to celebrate the Year of the Ox

Celebrate a new year, remotely

Although she wishes they could perform in front of an audience again, Melanie Lin, co-president of CAAL, says that the videos offer a better quality of performance. The idea of ​​a Lunar New Year TV show is rooted in Chinese culture, where big staged programs are aired to celebrate the coming year. Families separated internationally by the ongoing pandemic can come together to cherish traditions and create new memories, she said.

This year, the organization recorded recordings of 100 performers, including world-class synchronized skaters, guzheng musicians skilled on the 21-string, 64-inch-long ancient traditional Chinese instrument, martial artists and singers of Peking Opera. The vast majority of artists are from Lexington or live in the greater Boston area.

When CAAL first formed in Lexington in 1983, the city had a much smaller Chinese-American community, and Lunar New Year celebrations were often held in a high school cafeteria or school basement. a church, Lin said.

Over the decades, as Lexington’s Chinese-American population grew, so did the breadth and depth of performances. Lin said that years before the pandemic, thousands of people gathered in person to watch.

Lin said the growth of the Chinese-American community in Lexington was a kind of “push and pull” effect:

“It requires the pull from the city side to get people like us more involved. It also requires a push from CAAL to try to engage our local community to interact with local government and all local organizations and support each other.

Growing up in China, there wasn’t a local community like Lexington that required individuals to get involved, Lin said, so many didn’t know how to get involved in the city. Beyond the Lunar New Year celebration, CAAL has helped work with Lexington to support frontline workers, hospitals, nursing homes and city staff by raising more than $280,000 for the pandemic-related aid last year. The organization is currently working to require AAPI education in schools across the state, an effort that Lin says hopes to be implemented soon.

“Education is the basis for people to overcome their own prejudices and have a better understanding of each other,” Lin said. CAAL made it possible for the Chinese-American community to come together and settle in Lexington.

Lin said traditions such as Lunar New Year celebrations matter at times like this because they give people a sense of normalcy, a sense of hope.

You can watch the performance live via the streaming services located on the CAAL website at caal-ma.org/LNY2022.

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