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Celebrating the Lunar New Year with art, culture, music and dance

| Categories: Arts
Lunar New Year

For Mandarin Bilingual Program teacher Charlotte Yao, teaching the language to her grade four and five students for one hour a day at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Elementary School is much more than helping them understand the Chinese sounds and characters. “It is a great opportunity for the kids to learn the language,” says Yao. “But in language, you also teach the culture and performing arts.”

That’s why she and the other Mandarin Bilingual Program teacher at the school, Christine Ou Yang (grades six and seven), planned a lively and packed performance to celebrate the start of the 2024 Lunar New Year at a school assembly. The performance involved 48 students and featured a dragon and lion parade, songs, Kung Fu demonstration, colourful fan dance and Chinese pop dance. “The students are thrilled about it,” says Yao. “They are passionate and motivated and chose what interested them the most and practiced for four weeks.” 

In addition to the music and dance performances to mark the Year of the Dragon, the Mandarin program students designed and prepared red envelopes containing bookmarks with lucky messages for the new year for everyone in the school.

With dozens of parents attending the assembly, Principal Jim Munk was thrilled with the event. “The students shared what they are learning and their excitement about the language and culture,” he says. “It was a wonderful presentation and a celebration of the diversity we have in our school. That’s the best part of learning about different cultures, languages and traditions.”

Pierre Elliot Trudeau Elementary is one of two schools in the Vancouver School District that offer the Mandarin Bilingual Program. The other is Norquay Elementary.

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