Upper School Chinese Club co-heads create an inclusive community event
George Ma '20 had a vision. He'd noticed that in past years, PDS observed the Chinese New Year with a tasty lunch featuring Chinese-themed food in the mezzanine. But he also noticed that there didn't seem to be a focus on the cultural context or time to do much more than eat lunch and get on with the school day.
"This year when I campaigned to become co-head of the Chinese Club, it was one of my promises to create a cultural event around the Chinese lunar new year where people can learn a bit and celebrate with us in addition to eating," Ma explained.
He and Chinese Club co-head Lydia Wu '19 realized early on that they needed to start preparing well in advance in order to pull it off well. First, they got permission from the School to change the event to an after-school celebration, and in November, the club started brainstorming.
"One of the most important things about the lunar new year is getting together with family and friends and celebrating," Ma declared, "So our key goal was to bring the School community together, provide fun ways to learn about Chinese and Chinese-American culture, and enjoy great food."
Student members of the Chinese Club, in coordination with Community and Multicultural Development Team (CMDT) faculty and the Parents Association, came up with an array of family-friendly program elements, including a skit, montage video, dance performance, and fun activities such as calligraphy, lantern-making and a Chinese yo-yo competition for everyone to enjoy. Not to mention the amazing food on the menu.
"An important factor in our success this year is great support, from faculty including Mr. Park, Dr. Shah and Ms. Lee in particular, as well as from the parents. Faculty and parents came to meetings, and several parents agreed to provide the food plus a lot of materials for activities," Ma shared.
"We hope people attend and come away with some learning, and stronger community connections, too," Ma concludes.
The Chinese Lunar New Year celebration will be held in the Campus Center on Tuesday, February 5, from 4:30-5:45pm, and all PDS community members are invited.