Lessons in Host Country Culture

Anna, Y12, Century Park Campus

Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is the most important traditional Chinese holiday. The celebration lasts fifteen days; the first day of this lunar new year (初一 ‘chu yi’) was on January 28th, and the last day was February 10th.

The last day of Chinese New Year is the Lantern Festival. Traditionally, glutinous rice dumplings called tangyuan (汤圆) are eaten this day, their round shape symbolising the togetherness of family, and, as the name of the festival suggests, lanterns are lit in observance. In keeping with our ‘East Meets West’ philosophy, the YCIS Secondary students celebrated with a unique House competition on the day of Lantern Festival. Each of the four houses prepared a Chinese New Year performance which they presented to the school; Green House performed a traditional lion dance, Red House did a skit entitled Shirkys Go to China, in which they explained various Spring Festival traditions, Blue House performed the famous Chinese song Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flower), and Yellow House put on a fashion show featuring caricatures of famous Chinese figures, such as Chang’e, Sun Wukong, and Li Bai. Students and teachers alike put tremendous effort into the performances; they were all highly entertaining, and they did an admirable job sharing an understanding of, and appreciation for, Chinese culture. (Not to tarnish the name of good, unbiased reporting or anything, but I feel obliged to tell you that Green House won.)

After the performances, students participated in other Spring Festival-related activities, such as traditional riddle-solving, learning to paint flowers, and calligraphy practice.

All in all, this year’s Chinese New Year celebration at Century Park Campus was a great success, and was in good following of the school’s lovely, long-lasting traditions.

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