“Look at my Chinese painting.”: R. Wranglers
“You’re a ninja master! You’re Tigress.”: T. Labs
“Look, I’m using chopsticks!”: M. Heroes
The Parish School culminated our ICATs Culture-in-Focus: China with a parade, food, activities, and performances with two parties. In both Laurel Oak and Post Oak parties, the parade started with a strong dragon dance. On the sidewalks, preschool students and administration watched and cheered loudly as the dragon danced by. The musicians clanged the cymbals and beat the drum loudly to wish Parish good luck and scare away the bad luck. With almost 30 students walking together in the dragon, it was amazing to see their team work and coordination in the midst of the unpredictable festivities. The wind was blowing and our dragon ripped in the middle during both parties! Well-prepared performers, the students kept on dancing and followed the group.
Once inside, we sang our Chinese New Year song proudly. Their pronunciations of the Chinese words were spot on! The combination of so many voices ring in good luck! And then it was time to eat. On the menu were fried rice, broccoli and beef, chicken and vegetables, goldfish, oranges, fortune cookies, and tea. Some students were brave to try new food while others kept it safe with goldfish and oranges.
After food, students had the options of centers led by an ICAT: ribbon dancing, calligraphy, movie on China cities, books on China, Chinese freeze tag, and Chinese artifacts. Most of the students went outside to play Chinese freeze tag.
To end the party, we had a martial arts demonstration. I performed two forms for the students and they watched with ready bodies. They wanted to take the stage and copy my movements. Then every student in each class demonstrated their control, body awareness, and focus during their class performance. Classes showed what they have learned: bow, breathing, punches, kicks, blocks, combinations, sequences, and the kiai from our three to five classes over the past 7 months. I am so proud of their growth as ninjas and how they were all comfortable to perform in front of their peers. Classes in the audience watched quietly in awe at the other classes performing familiar moves they are learning. What a fantastic celebration of China and all that we have learned!