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KLA Employees Showcase their Talents during Lunar New Year

Feb 9, 2023 3 min read

From creating precise and beautifully detailed designs with paper to the art of throwing kicks, blocks and punches, many KLA employees have interesting hobbies, and some showcased their talents in a livestreamed global broadcast to help colleagues understand and experience cultural traditions during Lunar New Year.

As part of its commitment to inclusion for all in the workplace, KLA celebrated Lunar New Year with employees demonstrating artwork, martial arts and cooking – and sites in Milpitas, California and Ann Arbor, Michigan served up Asian snacks.

Keer Wu (left) leads a virtual Lunar New Year trivia quiz. Thirty-six of the 121 employees participating responded correctly to the question in the livestream broadcast above: Many people in China refer to Lunar New Year as “spring festival.”

“KLA encourages different cultural backgrounds to represent themselves. All of KLA’s events celebrating our heritage are led and run by employees who collaborate and agree on important themes and what to share with the rest of the internal population, so our Lunar New Year celebration was as grassroots as you can get.”

Keer Wu, learning and development specialist
At top, employees in Milpitas, California, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, enjoy dumplings and other goodies to celebrate Lunar New Year. At right and bottom left, application engineers Yuqian Zhang (wearing a festival-style shirt) and Victor Bui tell employees how Lunar New Year is celebrated in China and Vietnam.

For people in China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Mongolia and other countries, this Lunar New Year is the year of the rabbit – the fourth animal sign in the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle.

Employees Demonstrate Traditional Japanese and Chinese Artwork

For centuries, people in China and Japan have used sheets of paper to create artwork.

In the spirit of the year of the rabbit, Tara Chan demonstrates a simple design for global employees.

By folding a single sheet of paper, Tara Chan, mechanical engineer, Ann Arbor, created a rabbit, demonstrating for global employees her skills in the traditional Japanese artform origami. She learned origami first in elementary school and developed her skills by watching online videos.

“I’ve always liked working with my hands, and paper is the easiest material to get ahold of,” says Tara, who has worked for KLA since 2022. “I can spend hours working on folds to get the paper to collapse in just the right way. It’s amazing what you can do with one sheet of paper.”

Mechanical engineering manager Michael Si was born in northern China and has created artwork with paper since elementary school. Papercutting dates to ancient times in China, Michael explains. Complex patterns of symbols, flowers, animals, and other motifs are cut into paper with knives or scissors and are placed on windows and doors to welcome springtime and usher in a year of good fortune and happiness.

Michael Si collaborates with employees to create detailed artwork from a piece of paper at a workshop in Ann Arbor. One of Michael’s intricate designs is at right.

“There are good correlations with my job as an engineer,” he says. “As with engineering, papercutting takes a lot of patience, care and precision.”

KLA employees show their papercutting creations.

Engineer Demonstrates Martial Arts Form of Tai Chi

Although people in the West often think of tai chi as a soft, slow-moving and gentle exercise, Djuini Zen, technical program manager, demonstrated for Ann Arbor employees the Chen style of tai chi – a martial arts form and predecessor to the more well-known kung fu.

“The Chen form is actually the oldest type of tai chi – even many Chinese people don’t know this,” says Djuini, who grew up in Singapore and is of Chinese ancestry. “It encompasses softness and hardness, fast and slow, breathing and channeling to execute power from the body’s core to hands and legs.”

Djuini Zen became interested in tai chi as a teenager and often demonstrates the martial arts form throughout southeastern Michigan.

For Djuini, Lunar New Year 2023 marked the third time he organized a KLA event focused on the festival. Such celebrations, he said, are good opportunities to deepen ties and understanding among colleagues.

“KLA is the only company where I have ever felt really comfortable sharing my Asian heritage,” he says. “We have an environment where employees feel free to share their culture and are not intimidated to talk about it.”

Learn more about KLA’s inclusion and diversity initiatives, and browse the careers page for the opportunities ahead for you.

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