WKU’s Confucius Institute’s upcoming Spring Festival Gala prepares to astound the Bowling Green community with student performers from Hangzhou Normal University. 

The gala, a mixture of traditional dance and music, will take place Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in Van Meter Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. 

Betty Yu, associate director of educational outreach for the Confucius Institute, said they have been preparing for the event all year and are extremely excited, especially since the gala doubles as celebration of the Chinese New Year. 

“I believe it gives students a chance to experience Chinese culture,” she said. “There’s a variety of talent that exists, and it’s great for students to see that. We are happy to share the event with the students of Bowling Green.” 

Founded in 1908, Hangzhou Normal University offers a wide range of degrees for students, boasting a population of nearly 23,000 full-time students, according to the university website.  

WKU is one of four stops for the student troupe’s tour. After the gala, they will visit University of Memphis, Middle Tennessee State University and University of Tennessee-Knoxville. 

Lawrenceburg junior Jessica Brumley will be one of the emcees for the event. 

After spending two summers in China with the Confucius Institute, she said she’s interested in seeing Chinese students visiting America. 

“It’s really nice to see this cross-cultural sharing,” she said. 

Cultural events on campus, such as the gala, help students overcome stereotypes and expand their boundaries, Brumley said. 

“China and Eastern culture is something a lot of Americans don’t know much about,” she said. “When I say that I speak Chinese and travel to China, people look at me strange, but if I said I spoke French and visited France, I wouldn’t get that reaction. College is the time to understand the world around you and the gala is an excellent opportunity for that.”