With a tint of lucky red and a traditional tea ceremony, the students at Mesita ECDC on Friday rang in the Chinese New Year as part of their efforts to learn more about the Mandarin language and culture.
Students performed a Happy New Year song and a tune thanking their parents in Mandarin to showcase the Chinese language and culture curriculum that has been the hallmark of the school for several years now.
A sea of parents stood from their chair all with their cellphones extended and on video mode to capture their child’s cuteness.
“The Chinese New Year is the biggest celebration of the Chinese culture,” said teacher Sonia Chang. “Everyone celebrates for two weeks.”
First grader Julia Ma, clad in traditional Chinese outfit, was ready to start the celebrations of the new year, which in traditional Chinese culture is the Year of the Pig.
“This year we are celebrating the the pig, which is a lucky year,” she said. “ We’re going to do an umbrella dance,” she said.
Fortune cookies, oolong tea, Chinese candies and lanterns kept the theme going throughout the extended classroom.
“The big part of our dual language program is not only about the language but about the culture – having our students really understand and respect the differences in cultures,” said counselor Suzanne Moody. “Our Chinese teachers wanted to have the students participate in a great program and invite their parents to drink tea, which is very traditional in the Chinese culture, and also to do a song and dance that they learned speaking in Chinese.”
Kindergartener Ian Davila learned how to say Happy New Year in Mandarin and he knows exactly how he’ll be using his new language skills.
‘I’m learning Chinese so I can teach my cousins and my friends,” he said. “And so I can go to a Chinese restaurant and speak in Chinese.”
Video by Raymond Jackson/Photos courtesy EPISD