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San Francisco’s Starr King Elementary prepares for New Year’s parade

January 20, 2012


BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Xinhuanet) — San Francisco’s Chinese New Year’s parade has been called the largest celebration of Asian culture outside of Asia. This year, as many as a million spectators will watch thousands of people marching in the parade including 100 people who will carry a giant golden dragon. The parade is the culmination of the three-week Spring Festival in San Francisco.

For these San Francisco fifth graders saying happy New Year in Mandarin is no big deal. They’re in a Mandarin Immersion Class at a school that also offers a bilingual Spanish program and a more conventional English program.

After school this time of year students from all three programs race to the playground to get ready to march in San Francisco’s famous Chinese New Year Parade. School Principal Greg John says the parade helps bring this diverse community together.

Greg John said, “We do things to celebrate Latino heritage, we do things to celebrate African American heritage, and this is one of the things we do to unify us around something that’s really big in the Chinese culture.”

For the drummers, it’s a big day. The straps that let them march with their drums on have arrived. They’re learning a traditional kind of drumming from Northern China, called Xian-Xi.

Please read more here.

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