Chinese language students at Collegiate School entered in the Year of the Rooster last evening with the Fourth Annual Chinese New Year Celebration in Oates Theater. The celebration also marked the 10th anniversary of the Chinese language program at Collegiate.
Lower and Middle School students, with assistance from faculty, staff and Upper Schoolers, performed songs, dances and martial arts demonstrations integral to Chinese culture in front of more than 500 family and friends. Also in attendance were 12 students from Collegiate’s partner school, Beijing New Oriental Foreign Language School, in Yangzhou, China, who are on campus participating in the International Emerging Leaders - Asia program until Jan. 25. One of the visiting students graced the audience with a flute performance.
The celebration, which has grown each year, allows students to experience Eastern language and culture, which can seem very far removed from more traditional Western languages and cultures, said Xin-Yi Fergusson, a Lower School Chinese teacher, who started the Chinese language program.
“In order to take part in today's global culture and economy, it is tremendously important that our next generation not only have the opportunity to learn Asian languages, but to know and understand the culture as well,” she said. “Our kids are better prepared for the future when they can grow up with these purposeful learning experiences.”
Following the program, students, faculty, staff and guests gathered in Estes Cafe in the the Sharp Academic Commons, where they enjoyed snacks, games and crafts native to China.