Binghamton University’s Chinascope filled the Mandela Room on Sunday, March 1 as the group hosted its annual banquet, Dragon Night, which ambitiously presented Chinese culture and cuisine to various student groups and individuals at BU.
The name “Dragon Night” originates from the mythical dragon, or “Long,” present in Chinese folklore. Marking its 13th anniversary, Dragon Night is one of Chinascope’s most significant events of the year, with more than 200 people attending this year’s event.
Chinascope, founded in 1999, is one of the oldest Asian student organizations on campus. The club’s primary goal is to foster Chinese cultural awareness among students from a variety of backgrounds. By hosting Dragon Night, the club aims to provide an open stage for talent and intercultural communication.
Lu Yves, president of Chinascope and a senior majoring in English, said she believes that the club’s diversity and inclusiveness are what makes the event special.
“[Though] the main goal for Dragon Night is to spread the Chinese culture, we are also inclusive with different cultures,” she said. “We are open to everyone on campus. Anyone can come and enjoy our events.”
The night started with a dinner that Chinascope members prepared, which included some familiar Chinese dishes like lo mein, followed by a fortune cookie for dessert. After the brief dinner, the guests lined up in front of a photo booth with a dragon-themed background prepared by the club.
The banquet listed 10 showcases for the night, with some performances emphasizing the exhibition of modern Chinese pop culture. Performers sang or danced to Chinese pop songs like “Qing Hua Ci” by Jay Chou, while the skit that the Chinascope E-Board prepared playfully portrayed young Chinese generations’ love toward K-pop.
Still, Dragon Night didn’t overlook the more traditional elements of Chinese culture, and the audience got to hear some traditional Chinese instruments such as the pipa, a four-stringed musical instrument with a pear-shaped wooden body.
The crowd cheered for every set that Chinascope’s E-Board members and performers prepared. The skits made everyone laugh, while the surprise farewell gift that the e-board prepared for their graduating seniors created a wholesome moment.
Mary Hu, a sophomore majoring in integrative neuroscience, was invited to the event as the president of International Connection, a student group for international students to bond and celebrate their diversity. Hu said she was excited to see how the night turned out.
“Every year, Dragon Night is always amazing,” Hu said. “I can tell that [Chinascope] put [in] a lot of work. [The e-board members] are always welcoming, and even tonight, they were making sure that everyone is happy and enjoying their night.”
Benjamin Squillante, a senior majoring in accounting, also said he enjoyed the event, noting it was a great memory for his last Dragon Night as an undergraduate student.
“It was a flawlessly exciting time and probably the most fun I’ve had so far this semester,” he said.