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Lutheran celebrates ‘Year of the Rabbit’

Visitors to Lutheran Medical Center had a reason to pause, smile, clap and toe-tap last Friday when the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association rang in the New Year with a joyous celebration in the lobby.

Vibrantly-dressed group members ushered in the Year of the Rabbit by staging a traditional lion’s dance, firing up an ordinary workday with the extraordinary jig. The dance of the spangled beast — a majestic mock-up of the jungle king, made of papier-mache, bamboo, and wire, and decorated with string, tassels and bells — goes back thousands of years, and is performed on special occasions to signify luck and prosperity.

Preschoolers from the organization’s daycare program donned traditional Chinese costumes to steal the show with a sweet medley of Chinese and American songs. Health Plus donated calendars, and traditional orange and red envelopes were handed out to symbolize good fortune.

The festive occasion was also an informative one at the Sunset Park hospital, which is on 55th Street, near Fourth Avenue: The Visiting Nurse Service of New York was on hand to introduce visitors with their programs.

Lutheran is home to Brooklyn’s only Chinese inpatient health care unit, complete with a multi-lingual medical staff, Chinese meals prepared by a Chinese cook, culturally-sensitive color schemes, and health care workers trained in Chinese beliefs and customs.

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