By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor
It was a little late to celebrate the Chinese New Year but the Chinese culture, along with a mixture of other cultures, was on display Sunday at the Memorial Building.
Jane Liu, a nine-year member of the Eastern New Mexico University staff, came up with the idea of a night of Chinese culture in Portales as a fund-raiser. It mushroomed into an evening that included a Chinese dinner along with a slate of multi-cultural entertainment from ENMU and the local community.
Liu was diagnosed with a hyperthyroid disease about six months ago, and after struggling with loss of sleep, loss of weight and reaction to the medicines, she returned to her native China where she was treated by a group of health professionals in China named Fo Shan Chin Woo.
She said using traditional Chinese herbal medicines, massage, acupuncture and mind-body therapy she was cured of her ailment. She knew then that she wanted to share the group’s teachings.
“I wanted it for the community,” Liu said. “A happy heart is good medicine.”
Pulling together a fund-raiser with a Chinese accent was made easier by the approximately 20 Chinese students who attend ENMU through the 1-2-1 program. The program allows students to attend their first year of college in China, follow it up with two years at ENMU, and then the final year in China. The program provides for a dual degree.
“It’s a very good activity so that Americans can experience our Chinese culture,” student Qian Zhang said.
Zhang, a communications major who is also on the staff of ENMU’s student newspaper The Chase, said most of the other Chinese students are pursuing business degrees.
Master of ceremonies Don Elder kept the entertainment moving as he and others introduced everything from a Russian skit by Portales High School students to Middle Eastern belly dancing to Andy Mason’s solo, “The Streets of Portales,” along with Chinese songs and entertainment.
“It’s great to have a group of Chinese students here tonight to help us understand their culture,” Elder said.