Learning from China
Growing up in China
Emotions tied to China
Establishing Chinese Identity
On March 2nd, the THIS Secondary Division held its China Day. This year’s theme was “China in Stories.” THIS students put their love for Chinese culture and national spirit into every part of the China Day activities including telling their own versions of Chinese stories. The rain in the south, the snow in the north, the swallows in front of the hall, and the spring couplets in the courtyard… These elements of Chinese culture could be found throughout the THIS campus.
Poster Design: Joice Chen & Anna Cui (Grade 12). They also present the video of their designing process during the performance of “Design China”.
Six cultural stations were set up in the morning each covering diverse aspects of Chinese culture and tradition.
While living in China, we have the responsibility to get to know the land and the country. Through documentaries, students learned about the various provinces of China. Under the perspective of aerial photography, the magnificent rivers and mountains of the motherland were presented in a panoramic way. This meaningful review planted the seed of fascination in the students’ hearts especially for places where they have not been. Before the pandemic, THIS arranged annual Chinese cultural trips during the holidays so students may measure the land with their own footsteps. China through images and China at their feet, students are able to have a complete China experience!
In this station, students’ understanding of Chinese idioms and poems was tested through a game of “Let me guess through your motions.” The difficulty of the questions varied from grade to grade. Naturally, as the level of difficulty grew, the atmosphere became more intense. The game not only helped the students memorize the classic idioms and poems they had learned in class, but it also inspired their enthusiasm for teamwork and love for traditional Chinese culture!
“China in History” used the interactive platform Kahoot to let students learn more about Chinese culture, literature, and history. The topics featured in the game came from what the students learned in their Chinese classes as well as some topics were general knowledge of Chinese culture and history. Students reviewed their past learning while expanding new unknown areas while participating in this fun, interactive competition.
Students, in this station, played a variety of traditional Chinese games, including shuttlecock, rope skipping, iron ring and wooden man. The children of each grade were divided into four groups to participate in the four games. The children were enthusiastic to experience different games and activities. The atmosphere in the whole gym was cheerful with everyone playing to their hearts’ content – kicking the shuttlecock as light as a swallow, jumping rope so quickly, rolling the ring with their hands, and playing the wooden man game. Mr. Bing Xin said, “Concentrate on learning and play with pleasure.” With that, the students left with the most beautiful smiles.
This year, the Chinese Department focused on helping students to improve their public speaking. The teachers guided students in speech writing and how to sharpen their speaking skills. And depending on the characteristics and learning standards of the different grade levels, they learned to story tell about China and the development and changes over the times – from identity to responsibility and commitment, from the Olympic spirit to the national spirit. The students through their observation, feelings and thoughts formed their own stories and then polished these stories into insightful, thought-provoking and impassioned speeches.
“People take food as heaven.” In the long history of China, food has been generated, developed, integrated, and innovated with time. The blending of water and fire along with the harmonization of five flavors make up the contemporary China’s rich and diversified cuisine and delicacies. Through food, Chinese people show their individuality, confirm their belonging, build civilization, and understand and grasp the mystery of the rotation of the seasons.
The 12th grade students prepared a variety of food for this station including the famous Beijing donkey rolls, green bean cakes, and provided street food such as sugar gourd and roasted groundnuts, hot pot, xianbei, dry crispy noodles, and white rabbit milk candy. This year, they also prepared a special tea room. Through tea demonstration and tea tasting, students can further understand the history of tea which originated in China and carries the spirit of the Chinese culture. As 12th grade Fan Yangjia wrote: “When we are calm and serene, we can see the mortal world; when we are clear-hearted and introverted, we can be far-sighted. The power of a simple cup of tea is the supreme morality of our Chinese civilization to cultivate the body and nourish the mind. This simple cup of tea is the indispensable spiritual root of our inheritance and development of Chinese culture.”
In the afternoon, the secondary students presented “China in Stories” on the stage. Staff, students, and parents watched (online) these performances feeling everyone touching moment with their hearts. Through the performance of China – in history, in modern development, and in the future – we all felt the profoundness of Chinese traditional culture, experienced the enduring spirit of the Chinese nation, and expressed the cultural identity and self-confidence.
Tiantian Li and Mucheng Li bilingually hosted the “China Day” Performance
The opening music was a piece of “Yun Gong Xun Yin” played by the Chinese Traditional Instruments Club. This piece has been a classic in the hearts of several generations for a long time. The moment the melody was played, the students and teachers could not help but to dance along with it.
“The new atmosphere of China”, “A new world on a new journey”, “I thought about it and smiled out loud”, perfect! The Grade 6 students created three groups of three and a half sentences based on the theme of “Our Time.” They were lively and interesting, enlivening the atmosphere and showing their concern and gratitude for the development of China in the new era.
The Grade 7 students selected classic pieces from “The Pilgrim’s Progress” and interpreted the growth of Lu Xun at different stages of his life. Meanwhile, they also wrote lyrics for chosen songs.
Enya Chen from grade 8 gave a passionate speech about “Chinese Red” – “If I were to use a color to represent China, it would be red!”
Also, based on their full understanding of the book “The metamorphosis of Su Dongpo”, Grade 8 students selected the three most turbulent stages of Su Shi’s life, adapted them into stories. Based on his representative poems at different stages, they composed music for his poems, recreating for the audience the journey of a generation of literary leaders!
THIS students and teachers presented a martial arts performance highlighting the Chinese culture through each move.
The Chinese Traditional Dance Club performed “Jiu’er” and “Beauty Chant” in succession, showing the softness and gracefulness of Chinese dance with their delicate dance moves.
Chinese poetry is gorgeous and has a long history. “The grade 9 students recited ancient and modern classics together and talked about the feelings of the family and the country of a thousand ancient writers”.
“Thunderstorm” from the textbook was also brought to the stage by grade 10 students. The image of Fan Yi has long been deeply rooted in people’s hearts. The actors’ interpretation of the play was so well-realized that people were immersed in the twists and turns of the plot.
The grade 11 students presented their original play “Fake Confucianism, Knowing Taoism, and Doing Law” with a witty performance showing the respective philosophies of Confucianism, Taoism, and Law.
Every year, China Day activities showcase the deep roots of Chinese culture. THIS Executive Principal, Ms. LI Wenping always emphasizes the hope that THIS students can enjoy Chinese culture, establish their Chinese roots, and become outstanding talents with international vision and Tsinghua spirit.
文字 Writing | THIS Chinese Department,
翻译 Translation | Mia Gu, Mercy Xu
图片 Pictures | Jill Liu, Harry Zhang, Oscar Tsui, Anya Lv, Grace Wang, Yoyo Li, Mia Gu
排版 Editing | Mia Gu
审核 Auditing | Dieu-Anh Nguyen, Toni Dong, Wenting Bai, Wenping Li