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International School and CAFSA celebrate Chinese New Year

By Mandy Duncan

February 16, 2012

2012 is the year of the dragon. The dragon is the only animal of the Chinese Zodiac that is not a real animal. It is a special year to the Chinese people because of what the dragon represents great power.

The Campus International School and CSU Chinese American Faculty and Staff Association (CAFSA) celebrated the Chinese New Year, the celebrations were held separately on Feb. 11 and Feb. 12 respectively.

The CAFSA event was at the Student Center. The CSU faculty were joined by faculty from Case Western University, Kent State University, John Carroll University, University of Akron, and of course Cleveland State University.

The Campus International School’s children celebrated the Chinese New Year, a day earlier, by showing their parents their newly acquired Mandarin skills. The evening was filled with songs and dances that the children performed.

“I had a hard time with it at first because I hadn’t been exposed to it and I couldn’t help with the homework, but I learned to love it,” said Valerie Williams, a parent of one of the Campus International students.

The first performance was the Lion Dance which is called Xiongdi Wu Shi performed by two students. Second performance was a song Nihao Ge, Hello, performed by the kindergarten Monkey Group. Third performance was a song Ti Deng Long, Raise the Lantern by the kindergarten Panda group. Mrs. Hill’s first grade class performed Shu Lai Bao a Chinese rap. Daxiang, the Elephant was a song sang by the first grade Panda Group. The first grade monkey group students sang the four tones, Si Sheng Ge.

The second grade Monkey group sang the song Ni Duoda, How Old Are You. Huan ying ge, Welcome Song, was sung by the second grade Panda group. Shi Er Sheng Xiao Ge, The Chinese Zodiac song and dance, was performed by the third grade Monkey group. Sai Longzhou, was a Dragon boat paddler dance performed by the third grade Monkey Group. The event took place in the Woodling Gym here at CSU.

The performances weren’t the only thing at the Spring Festival. They had activities for the students and parents. The celebrations followed Chinese New Year tradition where they take blessings from the parents and receive a red envelope, called Bainian with a New Year card and some token money. Their teachers handed out the red envelopes to the students. Parents and students also learned the characters for the Chinese Zodiac, Shi er shu xiang.

One of the popular activities at the event was the Bian zhongguo jie, which is learning to make a Chinese Knot. Another popular activity was the Jianzhi, Chinese craft of paper cutting, where guests there could fold paper and trace the designs shown on the template and cut them out to make the cutout shown.
Xie shu fa, Chinese calligraphy was popular with the children. Ti Jian zi, Shuttlecock kicking game table was set up as well. The first known version was in China in the 5th century. Yong Kuaizi, was another game where children and parents learned and practiced to use chopsticks together.

New Jumbo Chopsticks Restaurant and Boloong donated food for the event. Parents and children could take photos in front of the lion head and dragon head.
Principal Julie Beers welcomed parents and relatives before the programs began. Beers thanked the parents for their support and introduced Dr. Lih-Ching Chen Wang, the director of the Confucius Institute at CSU. She said that Dr. Wang was responsible for the success as well as all the teachers at Campus International School.
Dr. Wang sponsored the school with a check for $1,000 and donated ten books.