Saturday, February 11, 2012

Last weekend of Chinese New Year - Part 2

So, as mentioned in the last post, the usual bunch of families gathered at our place on Sunday (5 February 2012) for a Chinese New Year party. It was mainly for the children - we each have a three year old child and we try to arrange little outings and events for them. Of course the adults get to sit around and gab too, but it's usually the children who take centrestage. Except, this time it was the adults who were in the limelight! Shann had suggested that the parents put up a performance or an activity to entertain the children and she got everyone organised in preparation for Sunday. (Richard and I volunteered to take care of the food so we were "excused"!). I think it was an excellent idea, and it was wonderful to see the contribution and the effort by the parents involved. The children were intrigued and entertained, and I think they also learned a thing or two! Hopefully, we'll do something similar for the next indoor gathering.

So, after dinner, there was a music appreciation activity (Kenny), storytelling in Mandarin (Shann/Ee Fann plus I understand Alicia helped to prepare some of the props), a Mandarin skit (Shann/Ee Fann) and an arts and craft session (Alicia/Chris). As far as possible, the segments were Mandarin-based to keep in the Chinese New Year spirit.

Here's a Youtube video of the four activities. It's quite long (19:35 minutes) so settle in for a good viewing! Ryan only appears in the video during the last activity - he was with me during the first two and he was with Richard (the videographer) during the third. In the last minute of the video, during the arts and craft segment, Alicia shows him some fake eyelashes (to paste onto his paper plate) and he is so amused - he starts blinking his eyes furiously to try to flutter his eyelashes!

This was Ryan's creation during the arts and craft segment. He didn't get around to pasting on the eyelashes (or the nose)!

After all the activities, it was time to toss the yee sang! I asked Shann to separate a small portion from the main yee sang for the children so they could have their own fun. I bought each of them their own pair of chopsticks for the task - the Elmo one is for Ryan of course! (It also happens to be much shorter than the rest, don't know why.)

Here's a Youtube video of the children tossing the yee sang! The video is about 2:27 minutes long. Each child has a different style - Ryan is mainly moving the chopsticks left and right (vigorously) on the plate, Brayden is mainly moving his chopsticks in a circular motion, Matthias is mainly stabbing the plate, and Ern is quite demure and a little worried about the mess. They got into the spirit of things and most of them managed to do some tossing, especially Brayden! By the time they were done, most of the yee sang was no longer on the plate! I think the children had lots of fun, so hopefully we'll be able to give them the chance to do it again next year!

You can also see that Ryan is partial to his left hand although I don't think he has quite made up his mind yet which will be the dominant hand.

Red packets were distributed to the children and the party ended shortly after 10 pm. Each family left with a pair of mandarin oranges and each child left with a paper dragon and those chopsticks. This is the paper dragon (I got it from Chinatown). You hold one stick in each hand and stretch it out. Ryan loves it!

Oh, I wanted to show you what Shann's family brought for us! Garlic! As her daughter, Ern, passed them to me, she told me, "Huat ah!"

Shann & Ern

Ryan had a bit of an upset earlier in the evening when one of the other children kept (innocently) getting in his way while he was playing with his alphabet set. He had skipped his nap that day, and he had tolerated the "interference" for some time, so it wasn't surprising. We gave him a short period of calm and quiet, after which he was all right again. I was happy that he didn't take out his frustration on anyone or anything, he simply voiced his feelings to me. I will post more about that in a separate post and let you know how we generally handle these episodes.

It was a fun gathering and I think the children, especially, had a fantastic time. When I look back now at the videos and the photos, I remember the laughter and the good vibes that evening. The evening will definitely stay in my memory for a long time.

Here I am, the next morning, having just got out of bed and still feeling happy!


Shann said...

Thanks for the picture! That was taken by Richard when ern wanted a picture to be taken. ; )
oh yes... The paper dragon... Remember ern was telling Ryan to be gentle with it in case it breaks? It did break into 2; and just before ern left, Ryan gave the tail of the paper dragon to ern. Hahaha so sweet!

Pinkie Pirate said...

Oh haha, I was looking for the tail! That dragon already broke once before the party. I tried to repair it but obviously I didn't do a good enough job!

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