Confucius Classrooms and Teaching Sites under CI at USC Held Events Celebrating the 2018 Chinese Lunar New Year Festival
From February 14th to 16th, Confucius Classrooms and teaching sites under CI at USC held events celebrating the 2018 Chinese Lunar New Year Festival. Although the celebrations are all for the same purpose, the means in which participants enjoyed themselves are greatly different. From performances in Chinese style music, songs, dances and talk-shows, to storytelling, to demonstrations of Chinese paper folding arts, and finally to making dumplings, the great variety of activities organized all pieced together to show the depth and magnificence of Chinese culture. More than one thousand American students showed interest and took part in the celebrations. The three major places where events were organized and held separately are Porter-Guad School in Charleston, East Point Academy in Columbia, and Coastal Leadership Academy in Myrtle Beach. This is a good example of accomplishments in recent years by the CI at USC.
Preparation is key to success in all events, and the teachers of Confucius Classrooms spared no efforts in creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The Halls and Classrooms are filled with new year's decorations and intricate designs. To light up the students' spirits before the celebration officially start, the Chinese teachers told the students ancient Chinese stories and played cartoons about "Nian" and the twelve Chinese Zodiacs. While the students were captivated by the interesting stories, the teachers led them to create their own twelve-zodiac plates. The students were very pleased and eager to find out the related zodiac for themselves and their family.
Since it is the year of the Dog, there were artworks about dogs everywhere in the Confucius Classrooms. Some students also joined the paper folding activities and created cute-looking cartoon style dogs. The paper-art dogs also served to take messages of wishes to their families. When the students' families arrived, the students were also very enthusiastic in introducing many aspects of Chinese culture, such as Chinese calligraphy to them.
The students also enjoyed the Chinese songs very much. Famous songs in China also found appreciative audience here in the U.S. "The Jasmine", "Beijing Opera songs", "Congratulations New Year!" and many other songs were all sung during the celebration events. To satisfy the students' desire for singing more Chinese songs, the classes also held karaoke parties and helped the children perform the Chinese songs they liked.
Then came the time for the students' performances which everyone was looking forward to. The students did dances like "Flower in the rain", "Red fan dance", Tibetan dance "Lucky Charm", and drama performance "Nian". They also performed their proudest skills in Kungfu. The most surprising show was completely planned by themselves, it was written in the form "three sentences and a half" -- "An American Child's Chinese New Year". Shows like this were done so well that it was recommended to large Chinese New Year celebration events in South Carolina.
The Chinese club of the Confucius Classrooms also played a great role in entertaining participants. They held contests on the knowledge of Chinese culture, the excited students eagerly tried to be No.1 in answering the quiz questions. Many people, even those not very familiar with China, were interested in these activities. Chinese teachers also taught students to make dumplings, they enjoyed eating the dumplings made by themselves.
The Confucius Classrooms under CI at USC also organized traditional Chinese New Year activities like Dragon Dancing and Spring Festival Carnivals. Those activities attracted lots of attention and expanded the influence of Confucius Institute in the region. Overall, the Chinese New Year celebration series events is a huge success, and it is highly possible that Confucius Institute will have even more participants and supporters in its future activities.