Students are taking a trip around the world!
Lincoln Jr. High’s World Language Club was created this year by foreign language teachers as a way to help students learn about different holidays, traditions, and cultures around the world.
“Students like to learn about celebration, traditions, and cultures,” said club sponsor Ana Gonzalez-Pino. “There are so many different cultures in this school, and this is a way to have them represented.”
So far, the students have learned about Día de los Muertos in Mexico, Christmas in Spain, Mardi Gras in Lithuania, and next up, Chinese New Year.
“As someone who is multicultural, I wanted to know more about other cultures as well.” said Sarah Hadjarab, an eighth grader at LJHS from Algerian descent. “As someone whose main celebrations don’t get a lot of exposure, it’s an obligation to learn more about the cultures.”
To celebrate the Chinese New Year and Year of the Rooster (which begins January 28, 2017) the students were immersed in Chinese culture by learning about the legend of the celebration, traditional gifts and food, and how to say xīn nián kuài lè or Happy New Year in Mandarin.
At each meeting, the club tastes traditional foods and makes crafts from the region they are studying.
”I thought it was awesome that people could learn more about the Chinese New Year,” said Jane Wang. “Not to mention the food!”
“I really like learning about all these new cultures,” said Neda Stankeviciute, LJHS eighth grader.
Sometimes, the students themselves teach the rest of the club about some of the holidays they celebrate. For seventh grader Carmen Fleming, that would be the Three Wise Men, or Feast of the Epiphany. She shared a poster she created in fourth grade that showcased how her family celebrates the holiday.
“It’s a holiday we actually celebrate. This shows the why, where, when, and what you eat on that day,” she said.
“When it’s a part of their cultures, they feel really connected,” said Gonzalez- Pino.