Friday, February 04, 2011

Xin Nien Kuai Le!

Happy New Year!! Welcome to the Year of the Rabbit!

I love celebrating the new year.  I don't care if it's the Jewish new year, the Chinese new year or the American new year.  It's all good & an opportunity for a fresh start.

Yesterday Erin had a great day.  She was super excited to bring a bit of her Chinese culture to her classmates! Thankfully, she has an amazing set of teachers who are very encouraging.  Since we were basically bringing in a social studies lesson, we did this with her writing class.  Her teacher Mrs. C was all over it - joining in & encouraging the children to enjoy their time in China.

Erin wore a beautiful qipao - a dress worn mainly for formal occasions. In Guangdong province where she is from, it is actually called a cheongsam.  We brought in some goodies for her class to share - lucky red envelopes with 2 chocolate coins inside, oranges for a sweet new year & chopsticks.  We also brought in popcorn so the children could learn how to use the chopsticks.  Of course it made the lesson messy & fun.  Mrs. C is a good sport.  Then again, the popcorn was her idea!

We turned the event into a pretty nice social studies lesson.  The children had to answer some questions.
  • What hemisphere is China in?
  • What continent is China on?
  • What is the capital of China?
  • Where is pasta from?
We taught them a few phrases:
  • Gung hay fat choy! (New Year greeting in Southern China)
  • Xin nien kuai le! (New Year greeting for the rest of China)
  • xie xie (thank you)
  • ni hao (hello)
There are 2 boys in Erin's class who have known her since preschool.  They thought this was a great thing to learn about Erin.  Another of the girls has been in Erin's class since 1st grade.  She  told me that this was even better than last year's celebration because she got to learn some cool things.

Erin glowed throughout the whole lesson.  She even enjoyed wearing her Chinese dress.  I think it even excited her that upon leaving the classroom, all of her classmates thanked us but many of them said it in Chinese.  I think she's decided that being Chinese really isn't so bad.

ARGH!!! Blogger isn't letting me upload the pics I took.  I'll try again later!