Weiran Zeng T’24 shares her favorite moments from the 2023 Lunar New Year celebrations at Tuck and reflects on her first year as a member of the Asia Business Club.
What did this year’s Lunar New Year celebrations include?
This year was the first year that we could properly celebrate after Covid-19. Tuck’s Asia Business Club (ABC) organized a modern, authentic celebration through performances that were true to contemporary Asian cultures. At the beginning of the celebration, each of our co-chairs, who represent different cultures from Asia, spoke about how their cultures celebrated the holiday, which brought a personal touch to the event.
We went on to feature singing and rapping performances, an incredibly well-choreographed sequence of K-pop dances, and food and drinks from across Asia. The co-chairs even had the idea to stuff red envelopes with money and scatter them around the venue and at the end of the performances. It’s a tradition we grew up with where the elderly gave us money on New Year’s to ward off evil spirits, and it’s cool how we have reinvented the meaning in the context of being at Tuck. During the evening, a fellow Tuckie even gave me twenty bucks stuffed in an envelope and returned the well wishes to me!
The Tuck community really showed up not only to enjoy but also participate in the performances, with classmates both within the Asian community and outside attending almost daily practices leading up to the show to perfect their Blackpink moves. The hard work behind all performances and organizers really paid off when Cohen was packed (even on the second floor) and fellow Tuckies screamed in support.
How do you hope to build on the celebration next year?
I hope we can preserve this integrated format next year. To build onto the already exceptional celebration, I’d love to find creative ways to engage with the broader Tuck community leading up to the event and showcase more cultures from Asia in authentic and contemporary ways!
Do you have a favorite moment from this year’s Lunar New Year celebrations at Tuck?
My favorite moment was probably the dance party that concluded the evening. Ending a series of performances with high-energy K-pop and the dancers pulling other Tuckies in to dance really was the peak of the celebrations. I loved seeing classmates from all over, even those who are usually more reserved, join in on the fun and enjoy each other’s company. Lunar New Year is all about being with family and celebrating as a community, and at that moment Tuck really felt like a big family to me.
Can you tell us more about the nonprofit organizations ABC chose to donate to as part of the Lunar New Year celebration?
Lunar New Year celebrations are often marked by joy within families and giving among family members, and it’s also a critical time to extend that giving spirit to the community. Asian Mental Health Collective is a nonprofit organization that seeks to normalize and de-stigmatize mental health within the Asian community. It seeks to integrate our heritage, which emphasizes collectivism and achievement, with emotional well-being and mental health through difficult conversations, which aligns with ABC’s presence well. At Tuck, we value community while encouraging difficult conversations and understanding individuals, and ABC especially pushes the mission in the Asian community through events like AMA panels.
What has your first year as a member of the Tuck Asia Business Club been like?
ABC has been an incredibly welcoming community, with second-years who show up and represent our cultures really well. I’m surprised at the cohesion within our community, and how even though there are so many distinct cultures within Asia, we come together in ways that integrate well. For example, Lunar New Year is a time that calls for community gatherings and celebrations across our cultures. We were able to highlight that aspect throughout the evening, while also bringing unique parts of the different cultures through food, music, and dances.
What would you like prospective students to know about ABC?
ABC has been a great community that has allowed me to find representation, belonging, and inspiration. We have so many amazing second-year leaders on campus who actively engage in the broader Tuck community in their unique ways and bring their perspective and generous support to the Asian community too. While bridging identities and cultures, representation and inclusion are topics that have been continuously evolving for me; ABC has been great in helping frame that evolution in conversations and in practice.
Weiran Zeng T’24 is a first-year student at Tuck with experiences across consulting, brand management, and tech strategy, with a long-term career interest in seeing through technological transformations in consumer-facing businesses. She grew up across China and the U.S., graduated from Duke University with dual majors in economics and philosophy, and prior to Tuck worked in both New York and Beijing. At Tuck, she is a Next50 fellow, an associate at the Center for Digital Strategies, and plays rhythmic guitar in the Tuck Band.