Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_New_Year). It is always celebrated on the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar. In Indonesia, Chinese New Year is known as ‘Imlek‘ and has become a popular holiday celebrated by all Indonesians, not just the estimated 2.8 million Indonesians of Chinese descent. Each year in the Chinese calendar is represented by one of twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac.
To welcome and celebrate Chinese New Year 2021, Metta School held several series of activities involving students, teachers, parents, and others during distance learning. All students and teachers wore Chinese traditional dress or any clothes that resemble the Chinese New Year colors, such as red, pink, or gold.
For Preschool and Kindergarten, they had coloring activity and others activities. Like Preschool students, they colored an Ox since 2021 is the year of Ox. Coloring gives children a good chance to practice with a writing tool which they can hold in their hands in the proper manner. The nice part about this is it helps to develop the children tiny muscles in their fingers and hands as well as wrists (https://123kidsfun.com/2018/04/12/7-benefits-of-coloring-for-kids/)
For other students, they made a Chinese New Year lantern. Lantern called lampion here, is the main focus of attention of the celebration as it symbolizes the wish for a bright future. (https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2008/02/04/lantern-symbol-brightness-love.htm) . This paper lantern is easy to make and it can be hanging as a decoration at home. The teacher showed step by step in making paper lantern to the students. They worked together with their parents as a team.
One of the famous traditions of Chinese New Year is giving red envelope and other gifts. Like Christmas in other countries, people exchange gifts during the Spring Festival. In rural areas and for older people, the New Year gift giving tradition is still strong, but increasingly younger people prefer just to receive red envelopes (by hand or electronically).
In this point, we encourage our students to keep that tradition by making and decorating the envelope. We gave the envelope template some days before Metta School’s CNY celebration and parents helped us to print it out for their kids. During the celebration, Kindergarten students cut, glued and formed the template as an envelope. After that, they decorated it with any colors and drawing. Since this year is a year of the ox, they also pasted a picture of an ox on the envelope. They were so happy and couldn’t wait to show the envelope to their parents.
China is a nation known for its influential culture and rich history. It is interesting how they tell the origins of Chinese New Year myths and explain why age-old traditions like the ancient times are still practiced to this day. Thus, we let the Primary, Secondary and Pre-University students to watch a movie that tells that history. The classes were started with the Chinese New Year greetings from Charlize, The President of Student Council, and followed by an interesting video on the legend and history of Chinese New Year.
On the other day, we held a webinar on Friday, February 19th, 2021 about “Akar Budaya Tionghoa dan Implementasinya dalam Pendidikan Menuju Indonesia Emas” as our way to learn how Chinese cultures influenced our development and enriched our way of relationship with others through the best manner.
Delivered by renowned Indonesian Motivator, Andrie Wongso and the Head of Permabudhi Indonesia, Prof. DR. Philip K. Widjaja, this webinar enlighten our mind and knowledge as we learned the history of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhist and how their beliefs may guide our life.