Chinese New Year Celebration at TROY brings homeland to adoptees

Posted: Tuesday, 09 February 2010

TROY, Ala.—For 4 year-old Sophia Peak, Troy University’s Chinese New Year Celebration is an opportunity to sample her homeland and some of its culinary delights such as Kung Pao Chicken, MuShu Pork and “Ants Climbing a Tree.”

Sophia, the adopted daughter of TROY alumnus Ricky Peak and his wife Sherry, of Dothan, is Chinese. Friday’s celebration in the Trojan Center Ballrooms will be her first.

“We were so happy when the adoption group told us about the event,” said Sherry Peak. “We thought it was a neat way to provide the Chinese culture to Sophia. Because of the celebration at Troy University, she can be exposed to her original roots.”

The University’s Department of International Programs, along with the Chinese Student and Scholar Association and the Confucius Institute at Troy University collaborate with Chinese students to bring Chinese cuisine and entertainment to the community.

“Our New Year Celebration is a time for families to come together,” said Mandi Shi, a sophomore Chinese student at TROY. “This is China’s biggest celebration.”

“When we first started the adoption process, we were afraid there wouldn’t be any Chinese programs available for Ella because we lived in such a small area,” said TROY alumna Nicole Chenoweth, of Dothan. “I am so grateful that TROY has given us the opportunity to learn about the Chinese culture together as a family.”

Chenoweth’s daughter, five-year old Ella “FeiLi” Chenoweth is an old-hat at the celebration. This year will mark her second visit, and, together with friends from a tutoring group, will perform a song that will be translated into Chinese.

nother mother from the group, Tricia Dumas and husband Anthony adopted two girls from China into her family. They, like the Chenoweths, will take the drive to Troy Friday for the event.

“You’d be surprised at how many families there are in Dothan that have adopted children from China,” she said, noting that her daughters and others in the group are learning Mandarin Chinese under tutor Han Kang Ning in Dothan.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. General admission is $10 for students and $15 for general admission. Advanced ticket orders are encouraged. For tickets, contact Ms. Xiaofeng Chen at 334-808-6348 or Maria Frigge at 334-808-6146. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Chinese Student and Scholar Association at