Just as the Year of the Ox began this Monday, SMUS kicked off its first Chinese culture week. The International Council arranged for several traditional activities to take place on campus, and decorated the library and classrooms with educational displays. Art students also painted Chinese watercolours to decorate School House.
On the first day of the new year, Brown Hall prepared an authentic Chinese meal which included dumplings, sweet and sour pork, nappa cabbage and tapioca with dried fruit. Tuesday, students spent their lunch break playing mah-jong, a game of skill and strategy in which four players must assemble groups of specific tiles, called melds, as well as one pair of tiles, called a “head.”
On Thursday, the SMUS campus became a parade route, as performers from Vancouver put on a traditional Chinese New Year display, featuring two lion figures, which are brought to life by choreographed movements of the men who operate them. The Lunar New Year ritual is a way to welcome the new year as well as to get rid of bad spirits. The visitors also demonstrated different forms of martial arts, including Tai Chi, a soft-style martial art that focuses on internal strength and is thought to promote health and longevity.
Friday morning chapel service also focused on Chinese culture week, with Emily Feng speaking about the differences in teenagers and education between China and Canada, and Tom Zheng performing a comedic routine about pick-up lines and Chinese names. Tom’s mother, a professional opera singer, sang at the chapel service and a few of our visiting students from the Sino Bright School in Beijing ended the week with performances during a lunchtime acoustic concert.