The first new moon of the New Year heralds the start of the Lunar New Year and for many countries and people across the world it is a time to celebrate new beginnings. Second graders at Highland Elementary joined members of the Multicultural International Club (MIC) at the University of Minnesota, Crookston in a celebration of 2012 as the Year of the Dragon.
On Tuesday, January 24, MIC students engaged the second grade classes in a variety of activities. Four different classrooms featured four different activities for students including games, languages, stories, and costumes. In the game room, students had a chopstick competition, played a Nepali game with rubber bands, as well as other games. In the language room, students learned to write their names and say “Happy New Year” in five different languages. Stories about the New Year were told in the story room and featured the traditions of China and Korea, and in the costume room, children had the opportunity to try on clothes from different countries.
On Thursday, January 26, MIC students performed the Dragon Dance in celebration of the Year of the Dragon and also as a preview of the program that will be performed on Saturday, January 28, by the Chinese Dance Theater from St. Paul, Minn. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. Tickets will be available at the door at $5 for adults and $1 for children/students. Following the program, everyone is invited to participate in a ribbon dance workshop.
For MIC member, Yangchen Gurung, a junior business management major from Mustang, Nepal, being involved with the elementary school students is a pleasure. “Members of MIC love to interact with the elementary students because of their enthusiasm,” she explains. “Schools are a place to learn and the students there are as excited to learn from us as we are to share with them. Our club really enjoys being able to go out into the community.”
Rae French, coordinator of study abroad, serves as advisor to MIC. The New Year celebration activities are a part of the club’s community service activities. For more information about international programs at the U of M, Crookston, visit www.umcrookston.edu/international.
In the photos:
Top, right: Afi Delali Degbey (back table), an English as a Second Language (ESL) student from Lome, Togo, and Tashi Gurung, a junior environmental sciences major from Mustang, Nepal, help students write their names and practice saying “Happy New Year” in different languages.
Center, left: Dabitna Chung, a sophomore majoring in early childhood education from Seoul, South Korea, and Yun “Ashley” Zhou a senior agricultural business major from Haiyan, China, share stories of the New Year from their countries.
Bottom, right: Xiaowei Zhou, a junior majoring in accounting from ChongQing, China, helps students in the costume room.