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!


Candy said...

Wow, what a wonderful day for Erin. I'm happy to hear that Erin enjoyed it and being Chinese.

Sandra said...

I love that you made the celebration into a lesson as well. Happy New Year to you all :-)

Lisa said...

love it. She just needed some time to not feel "different" for awhile. Now that she sees that she is accepted for WHO she is and it has NOTHING to do with where she is from, she has every reason to embrace her heritage. Great job, Mom, on giving Erin the breathing space she needed, and arming her with knowledge, love and gentle nudges from time to time. Love you both!

Vivian M said...

What a wonderful way to share the Chinese New Year with her classmates and friends. Happy New Year of the Rabbit, and wishing you much luck this year!

Carol and Taylor said...

Sounds like it was a beautiful day for all concerned, thanks to your preparation and caring. I'll be borrowing some of your tips next year.

Kind regards,

Carol and Taylor