East vs. West: What about it?

July 13, 2016

Can you analyze the cultural differences between the Eastern and Western Worlds? Better yet, can you discuss this topic...all in Chinese?

Here at St. Michael’s, students from the Chinese Academy can.

In an interesting twist on a lesson, students today discussed the differences that face these two separate hemispheres of the world. More notably, however, the students learned that these stark contrasts—some of which have led to certain levels of animosity between these hemispheres—shouldn’t separate the cultures. Instead, they should unify them.

While learning about these differences, students simultaneously learned about the necessity of unifying a divided world—a job, obviously, many of them will have in their lives, given that they’re studying Chinese.

And though this task is daunting to many, students at the Chinese Academy are fully prepared...they're diplomats in the making!

As defined by the U.S. Government as one of the fourteen critical languages, Chinese is a language that is imperative to learn, in order to establish and maintain global stability for the future. Through learning a critical language, students of the Chinese Academy are setting themselves up to be influential individuals later in life.

Although, this wasn’t the only topic discussed today. Here’s an overview of what went on in some of the other classes:

  • Chinese Board Games: Students learned about classic board games in Chinese culture, such as Chinese Chess! Additionally, they had a chance to play the games, while retaining all of this new vocab.
  • Sports: Many classes, today, honed in on vocabulary for sports. One class, actually, went to the gym to act out the newly-learned vocabulary words. The purpose in doing that: get the kids interested in and engaged with the new words.
  • Hobbies: One teacher taught her students about hobbies—specifically, ones that are popular in China—and, then, the students learned about the vocabulary surrounding American hobbies and how to describe them. 

After classes and lunch, a group of three performers came to the campus: dancers from the Asian Cultural Center. These dancers introduced students to folk-like form of dancing, except Asian style!

During the performance, the group of three directed the whole Academy in the ways of authentic Chinese dancing, which is very methodical and meditation-like. It provided the students a chance to relax—but more importantly, dive deeply into Asian culture.

Once the performance was over, the students flocked outside for some outdoor time. During this, the parents of the Chinese Language Director, Tong Chen, set up a table and began cooking Chinese food—for the students!

Today, they cooked a type of spring roll that all of the students loved. In fact, the lines never died away because the students were coming back for more! That’s a testament to their cooking!

And so, another day is in the history books!

Chinese performers