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Celebrating Lunar New Year at the White House

The White House hosts its first-ever Lunar New Year celebration.

Yesterday evening, we hosted the first-ever Lunar New Year celebration at the White House. Members of Asian American and Pacific Islander community from across the country joined together to ring in the first day of the Lunar New Year with keynotes from Administration officials, a discussion with diverse AAPI leaders, and three lively cultural performances. President Obama also sent his greetings by video message.

Traditional Chinese Lion Dance, performed by the Wong People Association

Traditional Chinese Lion Dance, performed by the Wong People Association.

Speakers of the evening included Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu and an armchair dialogue with Juliet Choi, Chief of Staff at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Tung Nguyen, Chair of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; and Sam Yoon, former Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Labor. All speakers elaborated on the experiences and values instilled by their families that drove them to careers in providing services and opportunities to Americans. We also heard from Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady, who spoke about the importance of family and working together as a community to continue uplifting the diverse voices and experiences of the AAPI community.

The event also included dynamic performances including a traditional Chinese Lion Dance by the Wong People Association, Korean Poongmulnori and 12 Meter Hat Ribbon Dance by the Asian American Arts Center, and a Vietnamese Ao Dai Performance by NOVAL-DC.

Throughout the evening, speakers and performers emphasized the importance of family, community, and a deep-rooted commitment to public service. Whether it is ensuring that AAPIs know about the Affordable Care Act and have translated information, advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, or advocating for better educational opportunities across the country, let’s ring in the New Year by recommitting to public service and continued progress.

To view President Obama’s Lunar New Year Greeting, click here.

Aditi Hardikar is an Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.