Chinese students welcome the Year of the Dog

By Patrick Bray
DLIFLC Public Affairs


 

Weijiang Zhang pours tea for students at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Asian School I, Department B, during Chinese New Year festivities Feb. 15. (U.S. Army photo by Natela Cutter/Released)

MONTEREY, Calif. – Faculty from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Asian School I, Department B, prepared various cultural activities for their students to celebrate the Chinese New Year Feb. 15.

“Chinese New Year is the most important festival in Chinese culture,” said Chao Xie, the department chairperson. “We wanted to make full use of this opportunity to provide our students with various cultural activities.”

These activities included singing Chinese songs, practicing calligraphy, a tea tasting ceremony, and Chinese board games such as Mahjong and Go. All of these were conducted in an immersion learning environment.

Part of the institute’s mission is to provide the highest quality culturally based foreign language education and training and immersive activities are one way it achieves that goal.

For example, tea is very important in Chinese culture, which is why Xie decided to include a tea tasting ceremony in the cultural activities.

Chao Xie, the department chairperson for the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center Asian School I, Department B, teaches his students how to play Go during Chinese New Year festivities Feb. 15. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick Bray/Released)

“Chinese people drink tea every day,” said Xie. “It is believed to help people relax and there is a special ceremony about how it is prepared.”

Tea drinking customs include showing a sign of respect, family gatherings, to apologize, to show gratitude and celebrate weddings.

Chinese years follow a 12-year cycle of animal zodiacs. The New Year is based upon a lunar calendar with the new moon occurring between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20. The centuries-old tradition goes back thousands of years to the mythical Yellow Emperor.

DLIFLC provides resident instruction in 17 languages at the Presidio of Monterey, California, with the capacity to instruct another 65 languages in Washington, D.C. The Institute has graduated more than 220,000 linguists since 1941.

In addition, multiple language training detachments exists at sites in the U.S., Europe, Hawaii and Korea, spanning all the U.S. geographic combatant commands in support of the total force.



Posted Date: 16 February 2018