Embracing the Culture: Chaminade Students Celebrate Language Week with a Special Performance

By Kevin Placide ‘21

During the week of March 24th, students were able to embrace the value of foreign languages through Chaminade’s Language Week. That Monday, teachers from each foreign language class stressed the importance and values of learning a new language through a morning announcements video. From that point on, it became apparent that Chaminade’s students were about to share that same love for language seen in their teachers. Each day, homeroom periods would feature music and prayers from various languages, including Chinese, French, Latin, Spanish, and German. However, the highlight for this occasion was a special performance on Wednesday, March 27th.

A performer from the New York Chinese Cultural Center conducts a plate balancing act.

After school, students walked to the wrestling room of the AAC and anticipated the performance of Chinese Acrobats. Professional performers from Dance China NY and the New York Chinese Cultural Center (NYCCC) prepared an unforgettable performance. The 45 minute show was filled with a myriad of entertaining performances.

Within those 45 minutes, students were engaged in lessons about and music from Chinese culture, which complemented  each performer’s part in the show.  Included in the production were displays entitled Chinese Patterns and the Lion Dance, and a performance of a training session was also given. Perhaps one of the most engaging of these exercises was a skill called “spinning plates.”A group of students were invited to participate in this as well as in a traditional red ribbon dance. All of these dances were rewarded with resounding applause as students responded with Hao, which means “good” in Chinese.

A professional performer is seen leading a Chinese Lion in the traditional “Lion Dance.”

    Chaminade arranges in these special performances every year, much to the enjoyment of the students. Last year, dancers from the New York Center for Flamenco Performing Arts explained the culture of the Spanish tradition. In 2017, Schola Cantorum reinforced the spiritual history of Latin with choir music. The importance of these events was highlighted by Mrs. Alanna Kump, the chair of Chaminade’s Foreign Language Department. She explained, “The people of our world are growing increasingly interconnected, and we have a responsibility to foster an appreciation of customs that identify us and expressions that bring us together.”

Under the direction of Mr. Gregory Walsh, Chaminade’s Chinese Club has made several visits to the NYCCC in Manhattan. The organization is dedicated in deepening the appreciation and understanding of Chinese culture within the city and around the world.

    Watch a portion of Dance China NY’s performance here: