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I have always been proud of my Chinese culture, but coming to Dartmouth, I was afraid that it would become an isolated fragment of my identity. I associate most of my Chinese culture with my family, and I wasn’t sure if I would put effort into it when I was alone. At home, my parents speak Mandarin, we visit my grandparents often to commemorate cultural holidays, and I even attended Chinese school on the weekends. I was also reminded of just how much I love my culture at every meal (even thinking about dumplings makes me hungry). What would happen when I was in Hanover alone? Would my connection to my heritage slowly wither away?

Fortunately, that has not happened in the least. If anything, I value my culture even more. One of the most entertaining evenings of my freshman year included the Lunar New Year celebration with my friends, and just last week I was eating dinner when I was distracted by a loud commotion coming from Collis Common Ground. I walked inside and found out that the event Legacies had just begun. Although I had read a few emails about the event, it had slipped my mind until then.

Legacies is an annual event featuring performances by an assortment of student groups, including Street Soul, Dartmouth International Belly Dance Troupe, Dartmouth Asian Dance Troupe, and individual singing, instrumental performances, and dances. This year, it was co-hosted by both the Dartmouth Chinese Culture Society and Filipino Student Association. I am not very involved with any of those student groups, but after that day, I am thinking about dropping by a Dartmouth Chinese Culture Society meeting to learn more about what sorts of activities they organize and how to participate.  

It was an incredibly uplifting experience, with the audience cheering in support at every flick of the hips and well-executed dance move. I gazed around the room and saw people I knew from classes, friends I hadn’t seen in awhile, and unfamiliar faces. But we were all gathered there, even for a short moment, to recognize our shared culture and celebrate it in the best way – with peppy music, artistic expression, and most importantly, alongside one another.  

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