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The City Journals

Lion dance, monkey king, ribbon dance – all bring in Year of the Pig at Lone Peak

Mar 28, 2019 01:19PM ● By Julie Slama

Lone Peak students are surprised by the lion dance at the school’s Chinese New Year celebration. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Lone Peak Elementary parent Kristy Bastian came to support her children in the dual immersion Chinese New Year program.

What surprised her was to see her fifth-grade son, Luke, play the role of the monkey king.

“I didn’t realize he was the actual monkey king — wow,” she said. “What a great opportunity for him to learn something extra, to be challenged in something he likes.”

The monkey king was just one part of the Lone Peak celebration for the Year of the Pig.

The program, which included the lion dance and ribbon dance, was the start of the day that included several rotations in the school multipurpose room for the entire studen tbody. The activities included kung fu, games, Chinese jump rope, marionettes, calligraphy, making red paper lanterns and the traditional Chinese national sport of jianzi. 

“Our goal is for the whole school to come together to see how much fun it can be to explore other cultures,” said parent volunteer coordinator Sarah Erwin.

Second-grader London Glover, who is in a neighborhood class, said she enjoys Chinese New Year celebrations at her school.

“We get to celebrate and learn about the Chinese,” she said. “It’s fun to see the dragon and use chopsticks. This is my first time trying calligraphy.”

Her classmate Lucy Smith said she learned about the importance of wearing red when she was a first-grader.

“We learned about the story and watched a show about it,” she said. “What I like about dual immersion is learning Chinese. It’s almost like a secret language since my parents don’t know it, and I can speak to my friends in it.”

Principal Tracy Stacy said that while her knowledge of Mandarin also is limited, she finds it valuable that the whole school participates in the Chinese New Year’s program.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for our Lone Peak Eagles to experience different cultures,” she said. “It helps children understand and value each other for their differences.”