Thank You to Our Amazing Volunteers!

GUND KWOK, Asian Women's Lion & Dragon Dance Troupe | Boston, MA USA

We’d like to thank our amazing volunteers for making this year’s Boston Chinatown Lunar New Year Celebration a success!

From holding flags to dropping lion heads & a dragon off to going to all the shops so that they’d be ready for us to steering the drum cart to making sure our supply cart was stocked to crowd control and to everything else in between — we THANK YOU!

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Rescheduled Boston Chinatown Lunar New Year Lion Dance Parade for Sunday, FEB 21 @ 10AM!

GUND KWOK, Asian Women's Lion & Dragon Dance Troupe | Boston, MA USA

The arctic temperatures did not cooperate with us last Sunday, but the celebration has been rescheduled for the upcoming Sunday on February 21, 2016 at 10AM!

Again, the event will kick off at 1oAM on Harrison Avenue in Boston Chinatown (near Kaze Shabu Shabu, Cha Time, Beard Papa’s, and Asian Garden Restaurant) with stage performances. Lion dancers will then go around with their troupes to all the shops and restaurants blessing them and bringing good fortune for the new year.

If you’re interested in volunteering, please sign up at http://gundkwok.org/volunteer/.

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See you SUNDAY, FEB 21 at 10AM!

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The First Women’s Lion Dance Troupe in Boston, 1938

The First Women's Lion Dance Troupe in Boston, 1938

Here’s a little bit of a Boston history lesson. Did you know that the first women’s lion dance troupe in Boston was formed in 1938?

We learned about this recently thanks to the Chinese Historical Society of New England (CHSNE), which shares the same building as our practice space in the China Trade Center.

For the past few weeks, CHSNE have put up a wonderful banner display and posters illustrating the timeline of the history of Boston’s Chinatown.

The women’s lion dance troupe fact definitely caught our attention.

Boston’s first women’s lion dance troupe was organized to participate in fund-raising from the Chinese community to assist China in its defense during the Sino-Japanese War. The entire troupe consisted of eight girls, most of whom were only 11-12 years old.

To learn more, visit the CHSNE website to schedule a visit and/or tour OR check out their book Chinese in Boston, 1870-1965 — you can preview a sample of the book here.

Chinese in Boston, 1870-1965 (Images of America: Massachusetts) by Chinese Historical Society of New England

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GK Cubs’s Lion Dance Performance at BCNC’s Lunar New Year Banquet

Check out the GK Cubs during their lion dance performance at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center New Year's Banquet!

Posted by Gund Kwok Asian Women's Lion & Dragon Dance Troupe on Thursday, April 2, 2015

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Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center’s Annual Chinese New Year Banquet: Year Of The Sheep

Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center's Annual Chinese New Year Banquet: Year Of The Sheep | GUND KWOK

The GK Lion and Cubs Team will be performing at BCNC’s Annual New Year Banquet on Friday, March 6th!

The Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Inc. (BCNC) invites you to join us for our annual Chinese New Year Banquet on Friday, March 6, 2015 at the Empire Garden Restaurant in Chinatown. We will celebrate the Year of the Sheep with good fortune and prosperity.

The BCNC Chinese New Year banquet is an annual sold-out event and one of the largest community celebrations in Chinatown, with 600 guests in attendance. This year, we will present the Friends of BCNC Award to Renee Inomata and Paul Lee, and the Amelia Peabody Foundation.

The banquet also serves as the biggest fundraiser for BCNC, raising much needed funds to provide essential services to 2,000 children, youth and adults a year. BCNC’s banquet leverages great visibility and showcases your philanthropic partnership with the Asian community. The banquet includes a wine and dim-sum reception, a traditional dinner, a live auction, and a silent auction.

http://www.bcnc.net/index.php/event/284/annual-chinese-new-year-banquet-year-of-the-sheep.html

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Boston Chinatown Lunar New Year Lion & Dragon Dance Stage Performance (Video)

Boston Chinatown Lunar New Year Lion & Dragon Dance Stage Performance | GUND KWOK

Here’s this past Sunday’s Lion & Dragon Dance stage performances. This kicked off our day-long lion dance parading through the streets of Chinatown.

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2015 Boston Chinatown Lunar New Year Lion Parade

2015 Boston Chinatown Lunar New Year Lion Parade

Here’s about 25 minutes of lion parading and music from this past Sunday’s Boston Chinatown Lunar New Year Lion Parade. Thanks again to all our volunteers and friends for sticking with us from the beginning starting from about 9AM until we finished at about 4:30PM!

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Boston Chinatown Lunar New Year Celebration & Lion Parade

Boston Chinatown Lunar New Year Celebration & Lion Parade 2015 | GUND KWOK
When Lions meet, they say, “Hi!”

What a great day of lion dancing! We’d like to thank all our volunteers and friends for making the day a success!

Check our Our Facebook page and find ‘GundKwok’ on Instagram for the latest and greatest photos and videos!

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Call for 2015 Chinatown Lunar New Year GK Volunteers! We need YOU!

Become a GK Volunteer!

Help ring in the upcoming Lunar New Year (Year of the Goat) with the Gund Kwok Lion and Dragon Dance Troupe, as they parade through the streets of Chinatown and lion dance for the stores and restaurants, as well as perform on the main stage on Sunday, March 1st. Gund Kwok is one of 8-10 troupes performing that day. You also get to experience an unforgettable day of Chinese New Year sights, sounds, and smells!

Gund Kwok, the only Asian Women Lion & Dragon Dance Troupe in the United States, was established in February 1998 to give Asian women an opportunity to express their creativity, power and strength through performing the lion and dragon dances.

Get a glimpse of the experience from last year – look at GK pictures from Lunar New Year 2014: Boston Chinatown Lunar New Year 2014

As a volunteer ….

Roles

You will be assigned to be a flag carrier, crowd control person, runner, cart lugger, photographer, videographer, or helping with miscellaneous tasks.

Attire

  • You will get to borrow and wear a Gund Kwok hooded sweatshirt to identify that you are with the Troupe.
  • Please dress in layers and wear hats, scarves and gloves/mittens. Please wear black pants and comfortable, appropriate footwear. Ear plugs, hand and toe warmer packets are provided if needed. Please do not carry any backpacks or other bags on you – personal belongings may be kept at the GK “Den” (someone is stationed during the entire day to track the comings and goings of all volunteers and troupe members, and to keep an eye on your belongings).

Food

Breakfast and lunch are provided. ALL volunteers are invited to stay for a free dinner that evening to thank you for your time and commitment (Restaurant: Hei La Moon, in Chinatown)

Information/Contact Info

Days prior to the Festival, you will receive documents and information for the day of the Festival, including FAQ’s and Volunteer Role Descriptions, and information for the Gund Kwok Volunteer Liaison (your main volunteer contact on that day).

Transportation

  • Take public transportation. Street parking is virtually non-existent on the day of the event.
  • MBTA: Green Line – Boylston Street T stop; Orange Line – Chinatown or New England Medical Center T stops, Red Line – Downtown Crossing or Park Street T stops.

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Boston Chinatown August Moon Festival on Sunday Aug 10th!

Boston Chinatown August Moon Festival, Gund Kwok
The Boston Chinatown August Moon Festival will be taking place on Sunday, Aug 10th!

GK lion and dragon stage performances will be at approximately 1PM. Hope to see you all there!

Location: Harrison & Beach Street, Chinatown, Boston, MA
Date: Sunday, August 10, 2014
Hours: 10:00am – 5:00pm
In/Outdoor: Outdoor
Cost: Free

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Boston Chinatown Main Streets Summer Festival Photos!

Check out some of the photos from the day — great job by our GK Cubs with the lion dance stage performance and to GK members keeping down our fort on Harrison Ave!

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Boston Shines Neighborhood Cleanup: Chinatown, Saturday May 10th

Boston Shines Neighborhood Cleanup: Chinatown Saturday, May 10th

The GK Team will be out in full force Saturday morning, May 10th in Boston Chinatown for the annual neighborhood cleanup called Boston Shines.

Spring is coming and it’s once again time for Boston Shines! This annual, city-wide clean-up has become a staple in the City of Boston, and we look forward to continuing this wonderful tradition with the new Administration. It will take place over three weekends this Spring, divided regionally to allow for the best use of resources.

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Dragon Dance Trial Class Sign-Up! Mon, April 7 @ 6:30PM-9PM

The Gund Kwok Asian Women’s Lion & Dragon Dance Troupe is hosting a FREE trial class for Asian women in the Greater Boston area.

Where have I seen your troupe before?
Many places! Here’s a short list: Chinatown Lunar New Year Celebration, Quincy Lunar New Year Celebration, BU’s Origins Culture Show, and on TV and in movies: The Departed!

What is Gund Kwok?
Gund Kwok, which means heroine in Chinese, symbolizes women’s power and strength. We are a team of dynamic Asian American women of all ages, professional backgrounds, and personalities! Check out the unique GK experience on NPR!

What is Dragon Dance?
The dragon dance is a highlight of Chinese New Year and other major celebrations held worldwide in Chinatowns around the world. Check out our moves!

What is a trial class?
A trial class is open to all Asian American women of all ages and is an opportunity to try Dragon Dance. You will be given an introduction of Dragon Dance, followed by a warm up, and then off to get under the dragon!

Hope to see you there!

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GK Cubs at BCNC’s Chinese New Year Banquet on Fri, Mar 7th!

BCNC's Chinese New Year Banquet

This Friday on March 7, 2014, the GK Cubs will be taking the stage to celebrate the New Year with the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center at the Empire Garden Restaurant in Chinatown.

BCNC's Chinese New Year Banquet
GK Cubs at BCNC, 2012

Go GK Cubs!

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GK Featured in the Sampan Newspaper

Image courtesy of Mary “Molly” Finn
Image courtesy of Mary “Molly” Finn

In last week’s issue of the Sampan Newspaper, the GK Dragonettes were featured in an article re-capping the Boston Chinatown Lunar New Year Festival. Beautiful photo!

Chinatown rings in Lunar New Year
By Mary “Molly” Finn

On a bright and crisp morning, the greater Chinatown community gathered in Philips Square to begin the Year of the Horse with good fortune and luck on Feb. 9. Several local leaders and community sponsors greeted the crowd in Chinese and English for a productive new year and appreciation for the traditional performances.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh pledged to work with his council to make sure long-term residents can stay in Chinatown.

Boston District 2 city councilor Bill Linehan thanked Chinatown families, residents of District 2, for their support. Linehan said the Year of the Horse is symbolic for him because he has been called a “cowboy.” Linehan hoped the next year embodied the strong and energetic qualities of a horse, full of prosperity.

Michelle Wu, the first Asian female Boston city councilor-at-large wished the crowd a happy new year. Malden Mayor Gary Christenson, captured the crowd’s attention as he read his speech, composed entirely in Mandarin. And Lisa Wong, mayor of Fitchburg, reminded people that the most important thing is family. She asked for help wishing her grandmother, a late Chinatown resident, “Gong hei fat choi!” or good luck and prosperity.

The dances were full of color and energy as the lions jumped around the stage. Ultimately a lion tossed an orange, a symbol of prosperity, to a lucky young member in the crowd. Of the six acts, one featured Gund Kwok, the first all-women’s lion dance club, taking the stage with two bright yellow lions and their tamer. Recently recognized on NPR, Gund Kwok has expanded the Chinese tradition of martial arts here in Boston from a historically male-dominated sport.

Phuni Meston held her younger daughter and swayed to the beat of the drum to keep warm as the lion dancers performed. This is her younger daughter’s second Chinese New Year celebration. Her husband, Eddy, studied kung fu for more than two decades at the White Crane School, formally known as Woo Ching’s Bak Hok Pai, which performed at the event.

Meston said it was “so important to expose my daughters to kung fu to find balance in life and maintain a cultural connection” to their heritage. Having grown up in Taiwan, she saw much political strife; meanwhile, cultural traditions, dance and celebrations sustained the people throughout the years.

The cultural performances celebrated Chinese New Year, which officially began Jan. 31.

Visit Sampan.org for the original article.

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