A Fresh Year, Properly Oriented

“When we began the Chinese program at LCDS, both from a teaching and student-exchange standpoint, we were all excited about having the opportunity to share not just language, but culture too. While in many ways, we’ve already succeeded in this, last night really provided a level of cultural sharing of which we can all be proud,” said Head of Upper School Eric Bondy.

Last week’s Chinese New Year celebration was the second year Country Day has rung in the new with an event aimed at bringing all things authentic from half a world away. The evening included everything from a meal of traditional Chinese dishes to performances of traditional Chinese dances by a Chinese troupe.

Mr. Bondy added, “Emily C. sang a Chinese song with such perfect intonation that  our Chinese students thought it was a Chinese student signing at first.”


Madi S. ’15 co-chaired the evening along with senior Lanlan Yu.

“We were incredibly lucky to have the Sunshine Dance group perform to two traditional Chinese songs,” Madi said. “We added a few ‘cultural difference’ scenes to try to put our American audience in the shoes of the Chinese international students when they step off the plane and into American culture.”

Madi said that having a year’s experience under their belts helped every aspect of the production go much smoother this time around. “Aside from the performance, I think that every member of our planning committee was able to learn and grow throughout the process of putting on our celebration,” she said. “A project of this magnitude is no small task, but everyone worked together and as a result, we all became better.”

THE PROGRAM

Gongxi Gongxi
By Ao Z. ’14, Thomas C. ’16, Jonathan Z. ’17, Daniel D. ’14
Originally composed to celebrate the end of the War of China against Japan during WWII, this song was later widely sung during the Chinese New Year and a well-known and a must-sing song for the New Year.

Fishermen’s Night Song
By Steven F. ’16
A famous traditional Chinese song that depicts fishermen’s sentiments and enjoyments during a peaceful evening.

Cultural Differences (Part 1)
By Olivia X. ’15, Andrea E. ’16, Boris H.’15, Elizabeth W. ’15
When a student first comes from China to attend school in the US, cultural shock abounds. Can you think of some?

New Year’s Eve
By Payton B. ’15 & Chinese I Class
A poem written by Wen Zhiming during the Ming Dynasty about how a studious scholar spent his New Year’s Eve.

Story of a Small City
By Emily C. ’15
A song made famous by the late Teressa Teng, or Deng Lijun, in the 1970s. It tells the story of the friendly city of Lugang in Taiwan.

Wedding Veil & The Sun Came up Happy
By Griffin R. ’16
Two upbeat and happy Chinese classics. “Wedding Veil” is based on a folk song of the Uzbek ethnic group of Xinjiang. It renders the anticipation and the excitement of the groom to see his bride. “The Sun Came Up Happy” is a folk song of the eastern Sichuan province. It expresses the local people’s love for work and life in the mountains.

Chinese Classic Dance “Flute Music Echoing over the Mountains”
By Sunshine Dance Club
The flute music is echoing over the mountains, orchestrating with the birds’ singing. The flowers are blossoming everywhere to welcome the Spring Festival.

Wild Dance of the Golden Snake
By Caroline D. ’16
Rearranged in 1934 from traditional Chinese music, this Pipa piece is among the most popular music in China. Fast-tempoed and uplifting, this music expresses the excitement and happiness of the holidays. It was used as the background music for 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

Father’s Meadow, Mother’s River
By Ao
Written by Taiwan poet Xi Murong, this song brings you the beauty of the meadows of Inner Mongolia.

What is “upset”?
By Doug W. ’15, Sulama T. ’15, Griffin
The son learned four words at school – upset, angry, mad, and not to know whether to laugh or cry. Bewildered by the true meaning of these words, the son asked his dad to explain them.  How did the dad explain?

Jasimine Flower”
By Elissa Quinn, Caroline
This beloved Chinese folk song traces its roots back to the 18th century and has many different variations. It is most popular in Yangzhou, Nanjing and surrounding areas and is well-known both inside China and overseas. This music was used as one of the background songs for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Xinjiang Dance: Love is as Bright as Red Flowers
By Sunshine Dance Club
This dance depicts the theme from an old Chinese folk song of the Tajik Minority living in the Xinjiang Providence. The song describes a young couple’s love as bright as the red flowers on their plateau. Xinjiang is praised highly as the “Home of Singing and Dancing” for its unique folk culture and custom.

New Year’s Day
by Payton/Chinese I Class
A poem written by Wang Anshi during the Song Dynasty depicting customs, excitement and happiness of the New Year’s Day.

Spring Arrives at Xiang River
By Daniel
Composed in 1976, this flute music exhibits the characteristic of the Flower Drum Song art form of the Hunan province. It depicts the beautiful scenery along the Xiang River and expresses local people’s love for their home.

Cultural Differences (Part II)
By Olivia, Andrea, Boris, Elizabeth
When a US student goes to visit China, what cultural shocks are awaiting her?  Can you imagine?

True Heroes
By Ao, Thomas, Jonathan, Daniel
Composed in 1993 and sung by Jackie Chan, Li Zongsheng, Zhou Huajian, and Huang Yaoming, this song became an instant hit among the Chinese communities across the world. A song about friendship, dreams and hopes, it remains popular today.

CREW

Lights Madison S. ’15
Sounds David M. ’16
PowerPoint Creation Olivia X. ’15
Photography Chandler S. ’17
Video Taping Griffin R. ’16
Program Producer Nicole Patterson
Stage Manager Sophia M. ’15
Backstage Ninjas Tyler P. ’15, Sulama T. ’15, Thomas C. ’16
MCs Doug W. ’15, Boris H. ’15, Alex d’E. ’16, Bruce L. ’14