By Ian Meldrum
Every year, billions of people around the world celebrate the end of the year. It’s a time for reflection; a time to come together; a time to look ahead. Many will make resolutions, hoping to make the coming year better than the last. Despite most resolutions failing, there’s a sense of luck, fortune and prosperity in nearly all cultures, and these similarities are seen in the different traditions of each country. To acknowledge this, the primary GIA students chose one country for each grade, researched the traditions and put on a spectacular New Year’s show. Filled with popular music from each country, photos depicting how the holiday is celebrated there, and young, ambitious actors, the Window of the World helped us see how we are all human, and, with a little understanding, our cultures share similar philosophies through different customs.
The research and English of the GIA students was one of the highlights of the show. New Year’s in Colombia—put on by grade one—involves filling your suitcase with money to bring good fortune, followed by running around the house with your luggage in hopes of a travel-filled year; in Spain—which was superbly acted by grade two—people eat twelve grapes at midnight to bring good luck for the twelve months of the year; Nigeria—a fact-filled performance by grade three—consists of pop-up music performances and ankle-breaking hip-hop dances; the Philippines—organized by grade five—celebrates New Year’s by eating all kinds of local fruits, with women wearing polka-dot dresses for good luck; Germans—researched by grade six—drink ‘bowle’ (a traditional punch drink) and eat donuts.
Window of the World was a wonderful performance by the GIA students, and we’re very proud of all their hard work. This New Year’s show was a great learning experience, not just about other cultures, but also for performing and public speaking, which the students’ effort paid off in the end. Huamei’s New Year’s Event was a spectacular show and we look forward to more like this in the future. For now, the GIA program wishes everybody a happy new year and best of luck in 2019.