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Gisborne Herald | Celebrating Chinese Language Week

23 Sept 2018

It is Chinese Language Week and students at Makaraka School have been getting into the spirit of things by learning a variety of Chinese cultural arts.

“We celebrated this week’s Chinese Language Week by inviting the three Mandarin learning assistants Meixia, Zixia and Bingyu to school to teach us kung fu, Tai chi fan dance and calligraphy,” says Makaraka School principal Hayden Swann.

Makaraka teaching staff supported these activities with traditional dragon paper cutting and miniature drum making, he said.

Makaraka School students have been learning the Mandarin language and Chinese culture for the past two years.

“Our children have become more aware and knowledgeable of Mandarin language and Chinese culture through our weekly lessons,” said Mr Swann.

“Recently we hosted six Chinese students and their families from Beijing for two weeks. We look forward to hosting a delegation from China again next year.”

New Zealand Chinese Language Week is a Kiwi-led initiative that aims to promote the benefits and opportunities of learning more about Chinese language and culture.

Now in its fourth year, the 2018 week has a tourism theme ahead of next year’s China NZ Year of Tourism.

Co-chairwoman of the New Zealand Chinese Language Week Trust Jo Coughlan said: “In the next few years visitors from China are set to overtake Australia as New Zealand’s No.1 source of tourists — and yet our language skills and cultural understanding are sadly lagging behind. Chinese Language Week is aimed at encouraging New Zealanders to ‘give Chinese a go’. It’s not as hard as you think!”

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