The Chinese New Year celebration was reported by Chongqing Morning News. I have translated the original article so that the people in the US can read it.
Reported by Chen Xiang @ Chongqing Morning News
Translated by Zheng Xuan
On February 11, the Chinese Lantern Festival, Zheng Xuan told the deaf children in her daily teaching at Metro deaf school in Minnesota, the US, “Lantern festival is a festival of family reunion and also the end of Chinese new year’s holiday. It marks a new beginning. Tomorrow we will get a new start in our working.”
In this day, a celebration which reflects traditional Chinese culture and accords with the characteristics of deaf children was done by her. It was the first time for her to spend Chinese new year in a foreign country, but she thought it has a special meaning because of the appreciation to Chinese culture and her work from the American kids.
The deaf doctor come to the US to spread Chinese culture
Zheng Xuan, an associate professor and a mentor for postgraduate students in Chongqing normal university, became deaf at the age of 2. Confronting with the difficulties in life, she still keep optimistic and finally became the first deaf person to receive a PhD from a Chinese university. In October 2016, she went to Minnesota State of the US to teach Chinese sign language, Chinese Mandarin and Chinese culture at Metro deaf school as first Chinese deaf teacher sent by national Hanban. In 2015, a Confucius Classroom was set up in this school which cover more than 100 preschool to grade 12 students.
There is not extra holiday in the United States for Chinese New Year. So Zheng Xuan was still busy with her work during the time as usual. She just had a dinner together with her Chinese friends.
Zheng Xuan stated that Metro deaf school is a magic family and she had a good time here. The school is not big and only one principal and one student dean are responsible for the daily management. But each member here performs its own functions and the whole school works in an orderly way. Everyone shares the same relaxed and harmonious atmosphere during the busy work.
Paper cutting, eating dumplings and performing lion dance
In this Lantern Festival, a celebration with strong Chinese characteristics was held at Metro deaf school.
What surprised Zheng Xuan is that in this day she saw the amazing outburst of energy and high efficiency of cooperation. In the morning announcement, most students and staff were in red clothes. When Jenny told them about the celebration in the afternoon, everyone cheered and began to do their tasks for it.
Zheng Xuan told the reporter of Chongqing Morning News by WeChat that a little girl gave her a hand-made bird house as a gift. She felt so nice to be embraced by a bunch of lovely kids. The students from middle school has decorated their classroom windows by a lot of paper-cutting flowers made by themselves. The colleagues helped her with the layout of stage, rehearsing of lion and dragon dance, preparation of small Chinese flag, distribution of dumplings…
One of her deaf friends who also work in an American deaf school said to her, “I totally envy you! I also want to organize such a celebration but cannot get enough colleagues to help with it in my school. How could you and your school do that? ”
In Zheng Xuan’s opinion, it is attributed to Chinese National Hanban which support her to come to this only deaf Confucius classroom throughout the world. With this identity, she won the high attention of Metro deaf school. On the other hand, the school is truly a united, friendly and harmonious team.
The deaf kids sign in ASL “I love China”
Dragon and lion dance, Yanko dance, Beijing Opera show, eating dumplings, using chopsticks, copying Chinese character by human bodies… “It is really a big job which made me nervous throughout the whole celebration, for I am in change of planning, directing, harmonizing, hosting and performing at the same time. But their feedbacks proved that my efforts are worthy.” Zheng Xuan told the reporter that the whole event led them to a strong festival atmosphere and all the children enjoyed it. Her colleagues also said, “Xuan, you did an excellent job”, “You are so graceful.”
Zheng Xuan said she feel thankful to the experiences in graduate student council and graduate student dancing group at Fudan university, in seven years’ teaching at Chongqing normal univeristy and to the several dancing teachers and Chinese traditional opera teachers she has ever met. It made her know how to give full play to her talent and expertise so that she can hold such a celebration which has Chinese culture connotations and is welcomed by American deaf children.
Zheng Xuan feels that she has gained much experiences through the event. The kids signed in CSL to her, “I like you”, “Thank you”, ” I love China”. Some colleagues also wrote mails to her to value this celebration.