Last week, St Margaret’s students celebrated Chinese and Lunar New Year with a festive Chinese dance performance, an important tradition at Chinese New Year thought to bring prosperity and good luck for the coming year.
Dancing lions accompanied by the beat of drums, clashing cymbals and loud gongs roamed through the school campus in a colourful and vibrant display by Hock Chong.
A traditional Chinese custom is to give red envelopes or packets usually containing a monetary gift on holidays such as Chinese New Year.
St Margaret’s students adopted a version of this custom feeding empty red envelopes to the dancing lions to bring good fortune.
Principal Ros Curtis said the celebration was one of many ways St Margaret’s instils an understanding of diversity.
“Students benefit from taking part in this global celebration as it allows them to gain insight into a community that is very much part of our culture,” she said.
At St Margaret’s students can study Mandarin from Prep through to Year 12 with it embedded in the curriculum in the early learning years and an elective subject in the senior years.
“Mandarin studies help to broaden students’ global citizenship and aids in giving them a greater understanding of our global economy and Australia’s largest trading partner,” Ms Curtis said.
40 Chinese students are among St Margaret’s student cohort, several of whom are boarders.
The Boarding House hosted its own cultural celebration with a Lunar New Year Dinner held on Thursday evening in Eton Hall for all students and senior staff.
Chef Scott Johnson and his team prepared an Asian inspired feast including Szechuan Braised Beef, Cantonese Style Steamed Fish, Oyster Chicken, mixed Asian greens with sweet soy and fried tofu and a Yum Cha selection.