On Feb. 4, 20 students from Harbor Country Day School’s Mandarin program in St. James performed for a full house at the Charles Wang Center during Stony Brook University’s renowned Confucius Institute’s 2017 Chinese New Year Celebration. First- and second-graders sang songs during the ceremony, and fourth-, sixth- and seventh-graders performed Chinese tongue twisters. Dozens of other performers from New York City, Flushing and other parts of Long Island participated in the institute’s annual show.
The school has developed a close relationship with the Confucius Institute, which enables Harbor Country Day’s students to participate in cultural events at the university. This year marks the third year Harbor Country Day has participated in the show, and Mandarin teacher Hong Snyder is grateful for such unique opportunities. “I believe it’s important for the children to have an intimate understanding of the culture of the language they are studying,” said Snyder. “Otherwise, they are learning the language in a vacuum, which makes it very difficult for them to fully understand and absorb what they’ve learned. Here at Harbor, we try very hard to give them many different opportunities to experience the Chinese culture, from dance and music, to cuisine, to performances like those at the Confucius Institute.”
Harbor Country Day also hosted a Chinese Lantern Festival on its campus on Feb. 11, to mark the end of the Chinese New Year with traditional Chinese music, performances and food and drink.