Culture Day at the College!

June 24, 2016 at 8:00 AM

The foyer of Elliot Hall was transformed into a chef’s kitchen, arts centre, tea house, te reo classroom and concert space for the inaugural Middle School ESOL Culture Day! The Middle School ESOL students, who come from Chinese, Japanese and Maori backgrounds, shared their cultures with affection and enthusiasm amongst the eager crowd of fellow students. The 14 stalls provided fascinating insights into the students’ heritage, and covered many types of cultural expression. The ESOL students have been learning about other cultures and, as part of a language project, have been preparing to teach an audience about an aspect of their upbringing.

To entertain, there were demonstrations of Chinese chess, ink blowing, paper cutting and mask painting. To teach, there were lessons in te reo Maori, calligraphy, rope tying, origami and chopsticks. Have you ever tried to pick up a table tennis ball with chopsticks? How about an M&M? Some stall-goers found out that it’s not easy! To sate thirst and hunger, the students taught teachers and peers alike how to make sushi, wantons and dumplings, while others brewed guan yin tea.  Providing the soundtrack were musical performances on a gu zheng (Chinese zither) and hu lu si (flute).

It was fantastic to see the students thriving in the opportunity to practise their English, while imparting something that is special and dear to them. Inevitably, this led to more in-depth conversations between the stall-holders and their ‘customers’ as they progressed through the demonstrations. Well done to the students who took part for representing their cultures with pride and passion!


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