Sharing their culture

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, December 1, 2011

KaDricka Berry positions the chopsticks in her hand while Siwei Wong shows her the correct way to hold the sticks. (Photo/Jaine Treadwell)

CHMS students study Chinese culture

Students at Charles Henderson Middle School learned more about the Chinese culture from members of the Confucius Institute at Troy University on Thursday.

Xiaofeng Chen, deputy director of the Confucius Institute, and several members of her staff who are teachers from China, were at CHMC in an effort to broaden the students’ horizons through three activities.

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“We taught the students some of the Chinese language words that they can use,” Chen said. “They learned basic words like ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye,’ and some of the students learned to count in Chinese from one to seven.”

Chen said the students also learned paper cutting, which is a traditional Chinese art.

“They made paper cuttings using red paper,” she said. “In China, the color red means happy or luck.”

The students also learned to use chopsticks and then participated in a competition where they used the chopsticks to pick up Gummy Bears.

Chen said the activities are designed to create a better understanding of the Chinese culture and to build a bridge between the cultures.

Chen has been at Troy University for almost two years and has an opportunity to stay another two years.

“But, I would have to talk to my family first,” she said, with a smile. “I like Alabama very much. The people are sincere and helpful. They have been welcoming of different cultures and very open. Being here today with the students helps increase global awareness among the cultures.”

CHMS Principal Aaron Brown said the Confucius Institute is a bridge between the cultures.

“Having the teachers come to our school is a great way to expose our students to the Chinese culture and to bridge the gap between the cultures,” Brown said. “Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins has a vision of global awareness and we are learning through his vision. Lee Hicks, superintendent of Troy City Schools, also has that vision and is a leader in bridging the gap between our cultures through exposure like our students received today. We are appreciative of this opportunity for our students.”