This past weekend, an online celebration featured an impressive 30 filmed performances by talented students, as well as audience participation games. It was organized by the WeChat social media group comprising UCC families both here and in China. Parents Nina Jin and Elaine Ni worked with enthusiastic volunteers to plan the program.
“It’s part of cultural recognition,” says Ni. “In 2020, we held the celebration at the school with a lot of activities, but COVID interfered last year and again this year.”
The virtual nature of the event allowed the group to include extended family members in the invitation. More than 150 people took part, including Principal Sam McKinney and Jane Li, the Mandarin language teacher.
“What a wonderful event — an incredibly important celebration for many in our community,” the principal told the attendees, extending his best wishes for the year ahead.
The performances demonstrated a breadth of artistry, such as piano, dance, vocal music, magic, figure skating and origami. Student artwork depicted tigers, and there was a performance on a traditional Chinese flute. Attendees participated in games, guessing words and identifying music, and co-host Sharon Wong, a UCC parent, spun a wheel of fortune to award prizes to lucky community members.
“It was exciting to see so many students and parents attend the celebration and enjoy themselves,” says Jin, while Ni notes, “There were a lot of volunteers behind us and supportive families. We couldn’t do this alone.”
Henry Yin, a Year 12 student who co-hosted the event with Wong, created a promotional video encouraging families to attend, and both the Parents’ Organization and the Prep Parents’ Organization made a Happy New Year video message, contributed prizes and helped with school decorations. Students arrived at school on Jan. 31 to find the buildings decorated with paper lanterns and Chinese phrases to ring in the Year of the Tiger with joy and good luck.
In boarding, Matthew Wong, head of Wedd’s House, began the tradition of a Lunar New Year dinner in 2021. It was popular, so he’s gotten a committee together and planned an event this year, too.
“It means a lot to the boarding population,” Wong says. “It’s like Christmas for people who grew up in Chinese families. It’s one of those special occasions where you dress up a bit more.”
Boarding celebrations planned for this weekend include dumpling making, origami, Chinese calligraphy, and a dinner at both Seaton’s and Wedd’s where students will showcase their talents with live music performances.