The College ushered in the Lunar New Year this week with festivities at both the Prep and the Upper School.
The activities were organized by the executive of the WeChat parents’ group. Says Sharon Wang, chair of the group, “Sharing cultures helps everyone celebrate diversity. It creates opportunities to understand each other better.”
Excitingly, the entire school was able to enjoy the celebrations in person. Previously, the group held activities at the Prep just before the pandemic, and last year, the event was virtual.
The Prep had a New Year’s assembly on Jan. 25, giving the youngsters exposure to the holiday’s traditional lion dances and to Chinese opera. Two of the students performed on a traditional Chinese instrument, a Hulusi flute, which has a mouthpiece created from a gourd and a wooden pipe. A band comprising Prep students also performed a few pieces, including a Happy New Year song.
Jonah Xie, Year 6, one of the instrumentalists, was pleased to have the opportunity to perform at the assembly, playing “The World of Flowers”, one of the standard tunes for the Hulusi flute.
“My flute is very popular in China,” he says, “and I wanted to show it to people in Canada so they could learn about Chinese culture. My classmates had never seen it before and were pretty interested.”
On Jan. 26, the Upper School hosted a Temple Fair, reminiscent of a traditional festive marketplace, but focused on activities, not commerce. There were 11 booths filling the Student Centre and staffed by more than 50 volunteers and students, hosting a variety of games and crafts.
The booths provided both Prep and Upper School students with lots of entertainment; among the activities on offer were Chinese calligraphy, a photo booth with traditional Chinese costumes, sugar painting, and games including a chopstick challenge and pitch-pot.
“These fairs are traditional in China, with vendors selling things and fun games to play,” says Wang. “We go to them on New Year’s Day, and we wanted to let the boys experience what it’s like.”