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The City Journals

Lion dance, skit, singing, dancing bring in Year of the Pig in South Jordan elementaries

Mar 29, 2019 09:01AM ● By Julie Slama

Monte Vista students perform a fan dance for their peers as part of their Chinese New Year program. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

There were traditional costumes, colorful fans and—among the pigs that adorned the walls—even a lion emerged dancing. At both Eastlake and Monte Vista elementary schools, students danced and sang in Mandarin as part of the Chinese New Year program welcoming the Year of the Pig.

Eastlake

At Eastlake, sixth-graders emceed the program, which featured performances from each grade level to showcase what they learned. Among the songs, dances, fan dance and Kung Fu was the fifth-grade traditional performance of the Legend of Nian.

“It’s cool to see other kids performing it since we did it last year,” sixth-grader Agnes Hiatt said. “I like Chinese New Year and seeing other kids singing and dancing. I’ve liked learning about the culture, how they do things in China, how they celebrate Moon Festival. It’s a lot of fun.”

Agnes, who has siblings in the Chinese dual-language immersion program, also was looking forward to celebrating the new year in her classroom.

Classroom activities included sampling different foods from seaweed to pineapple cakes, making crafts such as red lanterns and firecrackers, and opening red envelopes filled with Chinese candy. Fourth-graders also created a giant pig face that was prominently displayed at the program. 

Sixth-grader Isabella Freeman said she appreciates learning both the culture and the language.

“It’s wonderful to learn something new every single day, and learning different culture is a lot of fun,” she said. “In six years, I know how to speak in another language. I can use it in my future and have fun with it now.”

Monte Vista

With the unusual snow day closing school and interrupting the planned week’s activities, Monte Vista students welcomed the community with giant red letters on their chain-link fence saying “Happy Chinese New Year” to their celebration which was held later in the week.

Inside, patrons entered through the decorated gate and down the halls with lanterns hanging and student artwork — many of them symbolizing the Year of the Pig — adorning the hallways to the multi-purpose room, where their annual Chinese New Year program with singing and dancing was held.

“Everyone comes and supports the program,” parent Corby Robins said. “It’s just packed with grandparents, parents and family all wanting to celebrate another culture.”

Robins said that after the celebration, there would be stories, food and games in the classrooms.

First-grade English teacher Michael Vierra said that he appreciates the support of families.

“It’s great for parents to come see how hard their children are working to learn another language,” he said. “It’s been amazing to see all the kids, first through sixth grade, perform and how much progress they’ve made.”