EVEN as red orbs and ornaments lit up the streets and homes for Chinese New Year, students and teachers who consider their school their second home also went all out to match the festive atmosphere.
One such school is SJK (C) Union in Burmah Road, George Town.
From the notice boards to the four walls of classrooms, auspicious Chinese wordings and red packets have been plastered in a decorative manner for the celebrated season.
Twins Lim An Xuan and Lim An Xin, 12, concurred that the decorations had livened up the classroom.
“Through the theme ‘Nian Nian You Yu’ (Chinese for abundance), we decorated the classroom with various red packets cut into the shape of the fish and strung them together. It is now a more beautiful place to be,” said An Xuan with An Xin nodding in agreement.
Both were born in the Year of the Goat, and enjoyed learning different ways to decorate the classroom as festivity at their home is a simple affair.
The affair also saw them learning more about Shengxiao or Chinese Zodiac.
“We now know more about Chinese astrology, the 12 animals and its 12-year cycle,” An Xin said.
Their class teacher Lam Bee Wah, who is also the school’s Chinese language teacher, said that red cloth and firecrackers were relevant to Chinese New Year due to the belief that the items ‘scare away evil spirits’.
“Our purpose of taking the celebration into the class is done in the hope that the children can learn about the belief behind each practice and associate it to our culture.
“The same reason applies to the thnee kuih (sticky glutinous rice cake), which is served to the Kitchen God during Chinese New Year.
“It is believed that doing so will act as a preventive measure for the God not to make a negative report about a household to the Jade Emperor,” she said, adding that the school is holding a classroom decoration competition for the first time this year.
“There are so many other things in the Chinese culture associated with Chinese New Year and it is through such efforts that we hope to share the knowledge and that they will understand what it is all about,” she said.