Celebrating Chinese New Year in MHCS

In time for the Chinese New Year celebration of MHCS, I was able to have the chance to be able to interview one of the school’s Chinese teachers which is Mrs. Hsueh Fang Yuan, the current Chinese Academic Head. As a Chinese teacher, she celebrates Chinese New Year with her family by going to Wang Bin Street before the new year to buy traditional food which includes rice cakes, oranges, carrot and pineapple cake, as well as some colored candies and melon seed peanuts. In the evening, her family gathers together to have dinner and after they eat, the children will declare auspicious words. She also sends red envelopes to the children, as well as the workers in their home. On the morning of the first day of the lunar calendar, she would wear new red clothes or any bright color, go to Chinatown to walk around and to see the lion and dragon dance to feel the atmosphere of Chinese New Year. Throughout the years, MHCS has been celebrating Chinese New Year in many different ways. Some of those activities are hanging red envelope lanterns made by the students in the hallways and lobby of the campus. There is also a day where an event is prepared for the students and this event is hosted by the Grade 12 students. The ECD students prepare wonderful songs and dances while the lion dance team offers the students and teachers a wonderful performance. After the event, a food court is held where the high school students are seen selling different Chinese food and the whole school community had a happy and joyous day. According to her, the Chinese teachers make sure that students are happy and celebrating Chinese New Year in MHCS satisfied in the activities prepared while experiencing and understanding Chinese culture. She also said that she has always felt that both the Chinese culture and the language are closely related to each other and in order for her students to learn the language well, “they must first understand the culture, and if they like the Chinese culture, they would be more willing to learn the language better.” Furthermore, she also said that teaching the culture will always be an important part of her Chinese teaching and that the Chinese New Year is the most important celebration in China because of the different traditional customs, both rich and fascinating. During the past face-to-face classes, she would always let her students make window grills, hand-made traditional Chinese New Year food like dumplings and fried tikoy. The Chinese New Year festival is very important in our school since it is a way for the students to be able to experience the different Chinese traditions and try different food and be able to have more interest to learn and understand the culture and language while having fun. by Pearle Tan