The Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival in China, is always a much-anticipated event at The New Century School, but this year is even more special. For the very first time, TNCS hosted a Lunar New Year Night—an evening of songs, dances, performances, and delicious Chinese cuisine for the TNCS community! Put together by TNCS’s amazing Chinese teachers, including Li Laoshi, Ge Laoshi, Hao Laoshi, Joan Laoshi, and Cui Laoshi as well as our beloved interns Manman and Victoria. Extra support in the form of, for example, cooking, decorating, and musical accompaniment, was provided by Monica, Mrs. Hope, Ms. Klusewitz, Ms. Anebo, and Sr. Cueva, and Señora Duncan. It was truly a group effort!
Xīn Nián Kuài Lè (新年快乐 )!
Before we get to the performances, let’s take a moment to reflect on a couple of things: First, what Year of the Rat means.
Ms. Sharma’s 5th- /6th-grade homeroom is basically a “mischief” of rats, with many of those students having been born in 2008. Here is what we can expect from them in the future: “Because of their independence and imagination, they are suitable for creative jobs. These include authors, editors, and artists. . . Rats also pay attention to fine detail. They are fit for technical work, such as engineering and architecture.”
Second, we cannot celebrate the new year without sending some warm thoughts and well wishes to our friends in China facing a lethal outbreak of the 2019-nCov virus. This virus has infected thousands of people in China, and its ill effects have been felt right here at TNCS. Due to travel restrictions, our annual visit by Chinese university students had to be canceled in everyone’s best interest. TNCS hopes to welcome the six female and one male Chinese university students from Shanghai, who were scheduled to be here from February 4th through 18th at a future date to share their talents, gain meaningful American experiences, and participate in a cross-cultural immersion.
We hope for a speedy resolution to the Coronavirus crisis for all.
Lunar New Year Night!
This event was extremely well arranged, which paid off with enthusiastic attendance. Even better, students wore beautiful ethnic costumes ordered from China!
And now to the performances!
First up, grades 2 through 8 performed “Descendants of the Dragon” (合唱: 龙的传人) with piano accompaniment by TNCS 3rd- /4th-grade teacher Taryn Klusewitz.
Next, K/1st-grade students presented a Chinese Ethnic Costume Show (中国少数民族服装秀) with an introduction by TNCS 8th-graders.
Next, 2nd- /3rd-graders presented a play “The Story of Nian” (“年的故事”), preceded by an introduction by a 5th-grader and followed by a quiz from said 5th-grader.
A dance came next, performed by 5th- through 8th-grade girls. “Dance of the Jasmine Flower” (“茉莉花”), introduced by TNCS 4th-graders, was a real treat!
Next was a choral performance of “12 Zodiacs” (“十二生肖”) by 3rd- /4th-grade students. This song was introduced by 8th-graders and followed by another quiz.
Kung fu (中国功夫) performed by 5th- through 8th-grade boys was up next.
In the penultimate performance, K/1st-grade students returned to the stage to sing “Congratulations” (“恭喜恭喜”).
For the Grand Finale, all TNCS elementary and middle school students took the stage to sing a joyous “Happy Chinese New Year” (“新年好”)!
Said Li Laoshi after the event:
新年快乐！(Happy Chinese New Year—the year of the rat!)
Our school’s first Chinese night was a huge success!. The performance was very diverse, including songs, dance, a costume show, a play, and kung fu. All of these programs strongly present Chinese culture. It also was fun and educational, especially the question part, offering a wonderful chance to get all parents involved. We feel so proud of our TNCS community, having amazing students and very supportive parents and colleagues. We looking forward to next year’s Chinese Night!
Feedback from parents has been extremely enthusiastic about TNCS’s inaugural Lunar New Year celebration! Here are some comments:
“Thanks again for everything you do to help the kids learn Mandarin while exploring Chinese culture in an engaging way.”
“Thank you so much for all of your work on this event, it was creative and engaging and a wonderful mix of song, dance, humor, dramatics, and interactive education of the parents.”
“I wanted to take a moment to share the delight of my family and largely everyone with whom I spoke regarding yesterday’s program! Wei Li, the staff and students did a tremendous job showcasing the cultural significance of the occasion. TNCS is so fortunate to have Wei Li on staff – her consistent dedication and gifts are evident in her teaching, student and parent interactions and she truly does the school community proud.”
Wishing you great happiness and prosperity, TNCS community! Gong xi fa cai (恭喜發財)!