Students from Beijing and CPS celebrate Chinese New Year together

The auditorium at the Walter Payton College Prep High School (WPCP) was filled with cheers and applauses on Wednesday morning, Jan. 29. Students from the Chinese language program at nine different CPS schools gathered here to celebrate the Chinese New Year with a performing troupe from the Affiliated High School of the Renmin University in Beijing.

The Chinese school, Ren Da Fu Zhong in Chinese (RDFZ), brought a number of Chinese songs, dances, acrobatics, and martial arts to hundreds of CPS students.

“During this period of Chinese New Year celebration, we have brought with us many performances and want to wish you a very happy Chinese New Year!” said Shen Xianzhang, Deputy Principal of RDFZ, who led the 66-member troupe.

Students from RDFZ are aged from 11 to 17. Their wonderful performance captured their audience and brought the festivity of the Chinese New Year celebration to students at CPS.

Tim Devine, Principal of WPCP, extended his welcome to the visiting teachers and students from RDFZ, and praised such celebration and program.

 “Performances like this bring the Chinese culture and language to our students in all grades,” he said.

Zhao Weiping, Consul General of the Chinese Consulate in Chicago, also attended the performance.

He said more and more American students are learning Chinese language and culture, just as many Chinese students are learning English. He encouraged such cultural activity.

CPS students from the Chinese language program at several schools also presented their performances, including Chinese folk dance presented by students from McCormick and Skinner respectively, fan dance presented by Northside, and songs by Walter Payton’s girls’ a capella Ensemble.

“I’m very glad and moved to see American students dance traditional Chinese dances and sing Chinese songs,” said Shen.

The event is organized by China’s Ministry of Culture, RDFZ, and the Confucius Institute in Chicago.