Deepening our Cultural Understanding

To celebrate the Lunar Year, initiating the Year of the Rat, the Asian Culture Club shared the customary festivities with students. Decorated with red paper lanterns, banners, and posters, the dining hall served as the center of the celebrations honoring those students and faculty members who celebrate the holiday and those of us who wanted to join in the fun.

Groups of students dipped their brushes in the inkwells to practice their calligraphy. After a few attempts at mastering a Chinese character, more than a few students lamented how difficult the task was. Other students played “Horse” a board game similar to chess. Minseo Kim ’22 from South Korea shared customs from her country including a deceptively simple-looking game called “tuho.” Players toss long wooden sticks into a receptacle to see if they stay placed but invariably the sticks popped out of the container. Kim provided a handout describing other Korean New Year traditions like serving pancakes and rice cake soup and Korean traditional clothes (hanbok) worn during the holiday.

Other students folded origami paper cranes. Chinese teachers Naogan Ma and Jeff Gurganus handed lucky red envelopes to the students filled with prizes.

The first day of the Chinese New Year begins on the new moon -- this year on January 25. The Year of the Rat (a clever, quick thinker) marks the first sign in the Chinese zodiac. The holiday is observed throughout the world and marks a time for family and friends to gather. We were thrilled to share the holiday with our international students and connect with them in a personal, authentic and fun way to deepen our cultural understandings of one another.

Gong xi fa cai!
Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.
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