The Languages Department has an activity-filled year. We are raising the cultural awareness in the school community by celebrating national days and festivals from Italy, China and France. An important but simple way to attain inter-cultural understanding is through food and celebrations.
We began the cultural celebration with commemorating Italian Liberation Day which was on 25 August. This is a national holiday in Italy which celebrates the end of the fascist regime. We then celebrated Bastille Day which was on 14 July. Bastille Day is also the French National Day and the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille. It is of special significance as a turning point in the French Revolution. The Chinese festival, Mooncake Festival falls on 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar and was celebrated on 16 October in our school community. This festival is the second most important festival in China after Chinese New Year.
For all celebrations above, we organized trivia quizzes during Pastoral Care lessons in the morning. The winning PC got a free meal from the canteen. In addition to a trivia quiz, the school canteen served up culture/country-specific food to add more spice to the celebrations. Students were also encouraged to put on small clothing items that related to the festival or country. Last but not least, we also had little games to add fun to the day.
Bringing experiential learning has always been a main feature of language learning. Despite Covid-19 restrictions, we have had organized simple in-class activities to deepen students’ appreciation of a country’s culture. For instance, in Chinese, we’ve had an Year 7 & 8 tongue twisted competition with Chinese lunch. For Italian students, they watched a movie and then enjoyed an Italian lunch after.
To highlight the multi-cultural characteristics of the school, we’ll look into celebrating festivals beyond China, Italy and French in the future. When possible, we look forward to organizing breakfasts based on a particular culture and/or country to celebrate our multi-cultural community here in Merici College.