Today begins the longest and most important celebration of the calendar for the Chinese society: the Chinese New Year, a holiday that lasts 15 days, and that is a very special date for all Asian families. 2021 we say goodbye to the year of the rat and welcome the year of the ox!
At Casvi International American School, under an IB-based methodology, and with an American curriculum with native teachers, our language of instruction is English. However, as an international school, the study and presence of different languages in the classroom is essential. Therefore, our students are also trained in other languages such as French, German and Chinese, which is the second most spoken language in the world. It is estimated that around 860 million people practice it worldwide.
Learning other languages not only implies a greater facility in the communicative abilities of each student, it is much more. With the study of different languages, our students live a deep linguistic immersion, which leads to learn other cultures, environments, traditions and societies. Words, expressions, values and ideas… all this will form a truly international student.
At Casvi, Chinese culture is one of the most valued. Not only for its philosophy, but also for its language, music, culture and art. Therefore, through the IB methodology our students live a true linguistic and cultural immersion with Mr. Shao Chien, our Chinese language teacher. “In Casvi we train our students to learn new cultures, environments and languages. Learning a culture as different as Chinese will undoubtedly put them in an advantage position in their future. With this learning, they will be more independent, autonomous and will develop great communication skills,” he says.
Chinese culture is one of the oldest and most complex in the world. Working with it and its language on a daily basis is synonymous with joining the vanguard of today’s world. Therefore, as it could not be otherwise, in Casvi we have joined this great festival, to celebrate in style that begins a new year, the year of the ox!
With different activities, a special menu and lots of Chinese spirit, our students have been part of this celebration. Also, they have decorated the classrooms with the characteristic red colour of this holiday, and have filled the corridors of oxen, each one more original than the other. Although for health reasons we were not able to celebrate this holiday as the occasion deserves, our students were able to feel a little closer to the real China.
But,do we really know what this festival is all about?
Currently, in China this holiday is known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, and it is the most awaited time of the year for the whole community. Chinese New Year can last up to 15 days, during which thousands of people travel to reunite with their families. It is the great opportunity for those who left for the big cities in search of a better future, to return to their origins.
Each of the 15 days that make up this celebration has its own tradition. During this festivity it is very typical to see families having dinner together, receiving and giving good fortune, even giving money and material goods to loved ones. Tradition also dictates the launching of fireworks in the streets. The Lunar New Year ends with the Lantern Festival, where crowds of people gather to spend the night amidst parades and displays of decorated lanterns.
One of the most characteristic events is the Dragon Dance. Large dragons made of paper, silk and bamboo parade for hours. Meanwhile, millions of people dance throughout the parade.
Chinese New Year is also full of superstitions. The year of the ox is expected to be characterized by hard work and family relationships, as it could not be otherwise after the dramatic pandemic we have experienced. This is because the ox is a revered animal in China. It “is attributed with characteristics such as order, discipline, effort, work and family”, according to our teacher Mr. Shao Chien.
Although to a lesser extent, the Covid-19 pandemic continues. This will undoubtedly force us to do everything online. But once again, in Casvi we wanted to keep the illusion alive, that is why, during the next week our students will begin to make their presentations and exhibitions about the Chinese New Year.
牛年快乐! – Happy Chinese New Year!