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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 14, 2005

Vietnamese Student Association Celebrates Lunar New Year Feb. 19

The University of Iowa Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) invites the Iowa City and surrounding communities to come celebrate the Lunar New Year. The celebration will take place in the Iowa Memorial Union's second floor ballroom Saturday, Feb. 19 from 5 p.m. to midnight. Although the event is free and open to the public, donations will be accepted.

The theme for this year's event is "Mua Xuan Tuoi Tre" which means "Youthful Spring" in Vietnamese.

"The theme of this year is different from previous years, and we hope the program will show that," said Hao Pham, VSA treasurer. "The themes of previous years have always been about remembering the New Year in Vietnam. This year's theme is more about the Vietnamese generation living in the United States today and how they too have fond memories of celebrating the New Year here in the United States."

The events include singing, traditional and modern dances, skits, piano performances, a slide show, a fashion show, dinner and a dance. Traditional foods will be provided with some of it catered by Hy-Vee.

The VSA members hopes these activities and celebration will provide a chance for the Vietnamese population to come together as well as raise awareness and promote diversity at the university.

Donations given at the Lunar New Year celebration will support the association's activities and the Ruth Schaefer Scholarship, in honor of a woman who has helped many Vietnamese in Iowa City.

The VSA was established in 1989 to enhance fellowship among all Vietnamese, to preserve as well as share Vietnamese cultures and traditions with surrounding communities and organizations. The organization started off as a support group for Vietnamese nationals that immigrated to the U.S. after the Vietnam War. The main goal of the organization is to provide a support group where Vietnamese college students can come and share their knowledge, experience and talents.

For more information or special accommodations to attend this event, contact Cindy Cotran at Cindylu2002@aol.com at 563-940-0099 or Pham at HaoPham83@hotmail.com, 319-331-9039.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, lois-gray@uiowa.edu; Writer: Kent Nguyen