Poly’s Lunar New Year celebration received a thoughtful update this year. Previously the school celebrated Chinese New Year, marking the change of a new year in a lunar or lunisolar calendar. However, this year, Mandarin teacher Lois Chung named the celebration Lunar New Year to create an inclusive environment for all who celebrate the holiday.
“Lunar New Year is celebrated in many Asian countries, not just China, so we should include more people because we don’t have Vietnamese or Korean language courses so we can celebrate together,” she said. “By calling the celebration Lunar New Year we can include more people from different countries and whoever celebrates can celebrate with us.”
Lunar New Year is celebrated internationally by individuals all over the world including East, South, West, and Southeast Asia; North America; the Middle East; and more.
This year, Poly celebrated with performances from four Mandarin classes including Mandarin 2, 3, 4, and AP. Each class had different performances including a dragon dance, kung fu performance, and fan dance. Choreographed by students, each class brainstormed on how to present each performance.
The celebration also included activity booths that represented some element of Lunar New Year and a booth by the Asian American Alliance club including Korean games.
The celebration was an important reminder of the nuanced celebration of international holidays. Present in the celebration were fortune cookies, through which students investigated the history of learning that they actually originated with Japanese culture in America and were integrated in Chinese businesses during Japanese internment.