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Chinese students from Ohio State host Olympic celebration

The Beijing Olympics are less than four months away. So Friday, a group of Chinese students from Ohio State University kicked off a celebration of their own to show pride in their homeland's hosting of the games.

A group of Chinese women are in formation in front of the statehouse performing a traditional Chinese dance. Their torsos are wrapped with a red scarf and a small drum hangs to their side. Tied to their drumsticks are small red flags. Another woman leads the dance's cadence with a pair of cymbals.

The women's performance is part of a celebration a group of Chinese students at Ohio State is hosting. The Chinese Students and Scholars Society at OSU decided it wanted to share its spirit of the Olympic Games being hosted in Beijing.

Nick Zhou is a member of the CSSS. He said the celebration will be a great way for people to learn about the Chinese culture as well as the Olympics.

"We have three themes for this culture festival. Traditional China, current China and Olympics. So we want people to get a full picture of the new China," Zhou said.

The ladies' dance is part of traditional China. Zhou explains the dance.

"This is a traditional Chinese dance in the north China called Yangge. So it's very entertaining, very funny, and it's loved by the people in north China. Yangge. Yangge. Yang means the crop in the field. Ge means just song. I guess it just means the song of the crop," Zhou said.

Also at the grand opening was a large Chinese group performing Taichi, which seemed to be a crowd favorite. Metro High School student, Zunera Sayed, takes Chinese and said she was thrilled to see Taichi practiced in person.

"When they were doing the positioning I wanted to get out there and just do it with them, and I really saw the Chinese culture come out," Sayed said.

Over the next week there will be several exhibitions including a traditional Chinese dancing show, a photo exhibition and finally the closing ceremonies which will have three large stages to host various shows like martial arts and Chinese operas.

Yanhqiao Lu is the former vice president of the Chinese Students and Scholars Society. Lu said she thinks some Americans may have a misunderstanding about China, and she hopes these events will help shed some light on the Chinese culture.

"And maybe after this event there will be more American students saying hey you know this summer I want to go to China. And you can go there and you can see them as real people and see how they live their life. And then when you read something about China or hear something about China you will have your own perspective," Lu said.

Yifan Liu is an OSU grad student and member of the CSSS. He said he thinks the Olympics games are an opportunity to for countries all over the world to come together and communicate with each other.

"Today it's China's chance to show itself to the outside world. So I think we should try our best to improve our world communication effect. That's what we want to do," Liu said.

There have been many protests around the nation opposing the Olympic Games in China. Several of the Columbus Division of Police mounted police were at Friday's festival in case of protesters. There was no opposition to the student's celebration.