Cultural Activities: AA and NHPI Heritage Month

Cultural Activities: AA and NHPI Heritage Month
Danny Stock


In early May, as the nation began celebrating Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, GDS hosted several cultural and educational events.

Lower and Middle School students enjoyed a visit from two members of the Xuejuan Dance Ensemble, who performed and taught the children about the diverse Asian cultures from which the various dances originated.

The High School welcomed Kevin Tien and Tim Ma from Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate for their assembly. The organization brings the culinary world together in support of AAPI and social justice causes.

Lower/Middle School Chinese teacher Zhuying Hua sent the following description of a workshop she hosted for 8th graders with the DC Beauty of Beijing Opera (DCBBO)...

The Beijing Opera Workshop is a special event for the 8th grade when they finish Chinese learning at Middle School. Throughout the year, they learned about Chinese culture, including Chinese music, dance, and martial arts in class. I wanted to introduce Beijing Opera because it is a very traditional performing art that combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance, and acrobatics. 

I invited DCBBO, a nonprofit organization that aims to promote cultural diversity and enhance public awareness through educational workshops. During the workshop, 8th graders learned the brief history of the Beijing Opera, the four main roles of the Opera, the skills of speech and singing, and the symbolic movement on the stage. After the introduction and the demonstration, the three opera artists divided the students into small groups to learn some basic dance and movements: riding a horse using a whip, dancing with long ribbons, and the “water sleeve” dance. The students really enjoyed the interactive section of learning the movements with the artists. Students found that the experience helped them understand the Chinese culture they learned in the classroom.

Cultural Activities: AA and NHPI Heritage Month