Castle Square residents celebrate Year of the Rooster

The executive director of Castle Square Tenants Organization, Deborah Backus (left), and Ann Moy (right), the board president, presenting on the annual Black history and Chinese new year celebration on Feb. 24. (Image courtesy of Ruobing Su.)

Castle Square Tenants Organization (CSTO) held its eighth annual Black History Chinese New Year celebration on Feb. 24 at the Benjamin Franklin Institution of Technology. The event featured multiple cultural performances and free dinner.

CSTO executive director Deborah Backus and CSTO board president Ann Moy wished everyone a happy Year of the Rooster. The celebration was kicked off by the lion dance by Woo Ching White Crane, which is consisted of performers of different races and ages.

The residents of Castle Square performed a Chinese fan and martial arts dance. Children in the Square Roots after school program for K2 to eighth grade students told the story of the Chinese zodiac and the meaning of the rooster, 2017’s zodiac animal. A video made by CSTO Teen Program youth of 14- to 19-year-olds introduced the history and traditions of Chinese New Year, vividly showing Chinese culture for attendees unfamiliar with it.

Square Roots presentation of “What the Rat Told Me – A Zodiac Story.” (Image courtesy of Ruobing Su.)

Castle Square Fan Dance. (Image courtesy of Ruobing Su.)

February is Black History Month, which commemorates important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. The Teen Program’s presentation highlighted how African Americans fought for freedom and equality during the Civil War. An exciting part of the evening was the African drummer show, celebrating African culture.

African drummer show featuring Vivian Cooley. (Image courtesy of Ruobing Su.)

The menu featured soul food and Chinese classics, including “cha siu” barbecue pork, fried chicken, corn, salad and oranges. Oranges are eaten as a symbol of prosperity in Chinese culture.

Castle Square is a 500-unit affordable housing complex on Tremont Street with more than 1,500 residents. The event is in its eighth year, bringing together diverse cultures through art and food.

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