On Chinese New Year this past February, the UCC Mandarin language B classes went on a field trip with Havergal College’s Mandarin classes to Pacific Mall, the famous Chinese shopping centre in Markham. As this was a school trip, we had to document our experiences by filming it and making a video for a group project.
Our first stop was lunch at Ala Shanghai. We were restricted to only speaking Mandarin to the waiters. However, being Language B students, we ended up having rather catastrophic results. After lunch, we did a scavenger hunt and interviewed several people in the mall for our Mandarin project. We asked questions about their Chinese heritage and lifestyle like, “What do you do for Chinese New Year?” Altogether, the experience introduced us to Chinese culture and society.
Each year, the Chinese General Consulate in Toronto organizes and sponsors the Panda Cup, a competition that invites students to partake in various projects such as Chinese essay writing or calligraphy.
This year, the competition was for students to create a video documenting one’s Chinese culture in Canada. More than 100 videos from Ontario and Manitoba were submitted. All six videos created during our trip to Pacific Mall were entered in the competition, with two videos placing third and four videos achieving a participation award. As a result, we were invited to the prize ceremony lunch with many esteemed Chinese officials, Toronto District School Board officers and the director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Waterloo.
–Anthony Hua and Nathaniel Lee, IB1