The Chinese New Year officially kicks off tomorrow, but today students in Gulfport got to experience all that the Chinese culture and New Year’s festivities have to offer.
Culture has come to life for students in Gulfport. Students from Bayou View Elementary School spent time out of the classroom learning about the Chinese New Year in a hands-on way with a New Year celebration. Mandarin Chinese Language Teacher Yanglin Gong said, “We want our kids to not only practice their communication skills, but also understand different cultures, have them global and career ready.”
Mandarin Chinese language students from Gulfport High School and the school district volunteer their time to teach students about everything from chopsticks to tai chi.
The Chinese dragon is one of the many things students had a chance to learn about at the festival.
Gulfport High student Walter Dyal gave students an interactive history of the New Year throughout the day and says they particularly enjoyed learning about their zodiac animals. 2020 is the year of the rat in China. “A lot of them will think that they’re a dog or a snake or a goat, and I’ll have to tell them that most of them are rabbits, tigers, or dragons, because they’re all in the same like years, and it’s really cool seeing their expressions light up when they get told they’re a tiger or a rabbit or a dragon.”
While the food, face painting, and time spent with friends contributed to the fun event, students walked away with a greater appreciation of another culture and its customs. Bayou View student Olivia Zinger said, “You get to try new things and do different things.”
Bayou View student Emily Weldon said, “When you grow up you’ll know the things about, like if people as you questions about Chinese New Year you’ll know what to say.”
The Chinese New Year officially kicks off January 25th.