North Van students learn about Chinese traditions during Lunar New Year celebration (PHOTOS)

Students at a French international school in North Vancouver got a crash course in Chinese traditions during a Lunar New Year event held Friday afternoon.

More than 220 students, staff and parents at the Cousteau French International School, located in Lynn Valley, packed into the school gym for an event that included a lions dance, Shaolin kung fu demonstration, Sichuan opera excerpt, and much more.

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The event was part of an initiative by a group of Chinese parents of students at the school, which fit in well with the school’s mission to “educate our students on global citizenship and cultural diversity,” according to release from the school.

Cousteau is the only primary education school in B.C. that offers curriculum approved by both the provincial Ministry of Education as well as the French Ministry of Education.

Students were energetic and engaged during the performances, which included an Erhu performance of the famous solo piece “Horse Racing,” lucky draws, a speech by City of North Vancouver Coun. Tina Hu, in addition to a lions dance and colourful Sichuan and Peking opera excerpts.

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Peking opera, also known as Beijing opera, features music, singing, mime, dance and acrobatics - photo Ben Bengtson, North Shore News

In the morning prior to the event, students participated in calligraphy and tea ceremony workshops, according to the release.

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The event started with a lions dance that enthralled the students - photo Ben Bengtson, North Shore News

Chinese New Year – also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival – occurs tomorrow (Jan. 25), corresponding with the first new moon of 2020. This year is the Year of the Rat.

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