By Jen Horrigan ‘99, Adam Bishop ‘04 and Katie Pezoulas
On Sunday, February 11, more than 100 students, parents and faculty members gathered in celebration of the inaugural LCS Chinese Food and Cultural Festival. Generously led by a passionate group of parent volunteers, the festival was created with two main goals in mind: to help share the rich history of Chinese food and culture with the LCS community, and to help give our Chinese students, who come from so far away, an authentic taste of home. Formal invitations were extended to members of the LCS International Club, as well as all students with a connection to China. All invitees were encouraged to bring a friend new to Chinese culture to share in the experience. What resulted was a wonderful gathering of students from all grades representing more than 20 different countries as well as curious staff and their families with numbers reaching 100 guests.
The festivities began early in the afternoon when parents and student volunteers led a keen group in a dumpling-making workshop – a traditional practice in celebration of the upcoming Lunar New Year. Twenty students and staff members participated in making dumplings, from scratch, and shaping them into the symbolic shape that is believed to represent good fortune for the New Year. Experienced dumpling makers Wellesley Yu, Amy Qian, Lucy Guo and Chloe Hsu offered fine examples for those just learning the art. Across campus, volunteers worked to decorate the Head of School’s home and outer office with traditional décor, displays of traditional arts and crafts, as well as an impressive video presentation coordinated by Maxwell Lu. Students were even encouraged to learn and develop their own calligraphy skills in a traditional manner. The smallest of details were remembered and as each guest arrived at dinner, they were welcomed by student Matt Zhang and received a traditional New Years red envelope as a gift. The hard work and planning put forth by Maxwell, Ellie Wang, Shirley Li, Rachel Xu, Echo Li and Edward Chen was evident and a festive atmosphere was created for all to enjoy.
Dinner was a veritable feast, with numerous dishes – the handmade dumplings, traditional peking duck, spicy beef, pork, chicken, fish, lobster, vegetables, fried rice, rice cakes and several noodle dishes! A variety of Chinese fruit juices, coconut drinks and iced teas washed down the food, with fresh fruit for dessert. While there were many mouths to feed, none went hungry, and students were thrilled to be able to pack leftover food and drink to bring back to their houses to share.
The festival was created entirely by parent volunteers and would not have been possible without the support of Melody Wang, Amy Gao, Changyu Su, Jenny Tai and Mary Zhou who gave generously of their time and talents. Their efforts were further supported by the generous community of Chinese families at LCS who raised funds to support the festival. Thank you to the parents of the following students for their generous contributions:
Amy Qian, Annie Da, Caroline Chen, Chris Peng, Christine Yeung, Echo Li, Edward Chen, Ellie Wang, Eric Xia, Eric Zang, Isabella Chen, Isabelle Mao, Jack Zhang, James Fang, Jason Chen, Jason Liu, Jason Pan, Jeff Zheng, Jennifer Yang, Jesse Zhang, Jessie Zhu, Joe Huang, Juniper Lai, Kevin Gao, Lucy Guo, Matt Zhang, Maxwell Lu, Peter Zhang, Rachel Xu, Selena Yang, Shell Zhao, Shirley Li, Tim Li, Vivien Lu, Wellesley Yu, Yaming Cheng.There is no doubt that our sense of community is meaningful and special at LCS - made up of people from around the globe and rich in its diversity. Events such as this give us the opportunity to celebrate our diverse backgrounds, learn from each other and highlight that we are all united by a common love for LCS. We hope that this event becomes an annual tradition, as this festival embodies the strength of our international community – in fact, we hope it inspires new opportunities to highlight other cultures at LCS. We welcome input from our alumni, students and parents from around the world. If you’d like more information, please contact Jen Horrigan ‘99, Coordinator of International Student Affairs, and watch for more cultural events coming soon.