Sunday, 9 October 2011

Teacher’s Day – Happy Everyday!

So, before we had even really had the chance to get used to being a teacher, it was Teacher’s Day! Traditionally teachers are given flowers or a pressie and they also get to finish the day early which is lovely. Jake and I got a couple of lovely pressies from our classes and some beautiful lilies from our mentor. Teacher’s Day is a chance for every budding performer amongst the staff to get on stage and participate in the Teacher’s Day show. Now, we were asked on the day we arrived at the school whether we could perform and we even had a Chinese song ready to practise. However fate intervened, and due to lack of time and how busy the organisers were, we were unable to perform / we got out of it! Now this was most certainly a blessing because the teachers who did brave the stage were amazing and apparently very funny (it was all in Chinese but we giggled along at appropriate moments). There was everything from a group playing giant drums on stage, to comedy sketches and opera style renditions of Chinese songs to round it all off. As is everything in China, it was most definitely an experience!
Teacher's Day card and trinket teddy bear teachers from Class 5

Dinner with all the teachers followed the performances. I ate a crab for the first time (I had to break it all up/destroy it because it looked like it did when it was alive which is never my ideal starter, but again, when in China).  It is tradition to go around the tables and clink glasses with everyone else and wish them a “Happy Teacher’s Day”. Funny enough most of the teachers knew the word for “cheers” but when in China: “gān bēi”. I did not understand the Headmaster’s speech that started the feast off but I was told that he mentioned that everyone should drink a lot and enjoy the evening… people did not disappoint.
Teacher's Day feast, complete with karaoke screen
And then, because we are in China, it was karaoke time. We were told that “Auld Lang Syne” was a Chinese favourite (they even have a Chinese language version). Apparently this is due to the film “Waterloo Bridge”.  Now I have never sung this song in its entirety and we discovered that it’s actually pretty long. After we agreed, about a week before Teacher’s Day, to participate in the karaoke we were told that we had better be good as we had been scheduled to sing last and that many of the teachers go to KTV to practise…great we thought! On the day, when the nerves started setting in, we were told not to worry as it is the taking part that counts! Sigh of relief. So we were about to go on stage, when we were informed that we were the last contestants in the karaoke competition! Hmmm. So if a Chinese person tells you it’s the taking part in the karaoke that counts they’re lying! J But it was good fun and when we were singing, lots of couples came up to the front of the stage and started waltzing which was ever so sweet. The best part about it…we came third in the competition! I think that may have been because we were foreigners but I’ll take that third place win nonetheless!

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