Mandarin is an integral part of our Languages curriculum here at the International School of Samui. All our students from Year 3 up to Year 11 have the option to attend Mandarin lessons and sit the Cambridge IGCSE Mandarin exam in Year 11 alongside our Spanish and Thai options so the Chinese New Year celebrations are an integral part of our school calendar.
The joyous season of celebrations started on the 16th of February 2018 -- the last day of our half term break -- and ended on the 2nd of March. To understand the massive scope of this holiday, there are 1.3 billion people in China who celebrate this annual event. That doesn't include citizens of Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam and Malaysia with a significant percentage of the population having come from Chinese descent.
2018 is the Year of the Dog (contrary to popular belief, the Chinese people believe that if you were born in the same animal year, this is not exactly your year. But don't fret, there are measures you can do to avoid bad luck, which you can read about here).
This year, our Mandarin Teacher, Miss Esther Teow worked incredibly hard along with support from all the teaching and support staff to organise a fabulous day of festive activities wrapped up with a truly entertaining show for all our students and parents. The entire day was filled with Chinese activities from Early Years to Primary School. The Senior School also took part in different activities and integrated Chinese New Year in some of their lessons, such as ICT.
It goes without saying that the school was filled with joy and love after all the red lanterns, decorations, costumes and projects. Even the lunch for that day was Chinese inspired!
The day ended with half an hour presentation from select students where they performed in front of a very appreciative audience and shared what they've been learning in their Mandarin lessons this year.
Finally, we were treated to a Lion Dance from professional Lion dancers in Samui. The whole school gathered around the field and enjoyed watching a showdown between two colourful Chinese Lions.