Language and Culture Celebration Week 2023


Peddie Falcons in the Chinese Language program perform the lion dance during International Awareness Week Chapel.

Suhani Goyal ’27, Staff Writer

On January 18, 2023, students at the Peddie School opened an unsuspecting email, only to be surprised by bursts of colors and flags, introducing the long-awaited Language and Culture Celebration Week (International Awareness Week). The anticipated message detailed opportunities for education, activities and excitement for all.

Language and Culture Celebration Week started with a cultural Chapel presentation on January 20 with a parade of flags and a presentation about the origins and traditions of the Chinese Lunar New Year. The students taking Chinese at Peddie dressed up in dragon and lion costumes, kicking off the week with a bang.

Throughout the week, many language and culture activities were held, including paper crafts activities and Karaoke by the Chinese Program, chocolate tasting and a Japanese matcha tea ceremony by the French Program and a presentation on the Olympics by the Latin program. A Chinese New Year trip to Flushing, NYC, was also organized by the Chinese program, and a tasty dumpling-tasting activity was sponsored by the Chinese Club. 

In addition to this exciting schedule, Peddie Food Services (PFS) brought an international menu to the Peddie, including many traditional and modern international cuisines, such as Nigerian Fried Rice, Challah French Toast and Kung Pao Chicken. Many Peddie students enjoyed the meals, some saying that it “tasted original and delicious,” while others praised PFS, commending them for their hard work.

The fun was not only limited to the free periods and lunch. Latin, Chinese, French and Spanish teachers planned cultural and educational games, activities and crafts in their usual class times, bringing Language and Culture Celebration Week to school learning as well. For example, in Madame Letourneau’s and Monsieur Iwaizumi’s French classes, students learned how to dance a French-Canadian line dance. In Doc Martin’s Latin classes, a lesson on the connection between Greek and English words was taught to his students. Sr. Roca’s Spanish classes played Dominoes, one of the most famous board games in the world, while in Ms. Zhao’s Chinese classes, her students learned how to make origami, the art of paper folding.

Finally, the seniors in the Language Signature Program and Asian Studies Program presented their projects that illustrate their passion for languages. Some presentations included The Garifuna People, presented by Sofia Caballero, and The Unprecedented Rise of Singapore, presented by Leyton Shroff. The wonderful week was closed by a last Chapel presentation which included a cultural presentation by the French Language Signature program students and the parade of flags as closing.

By sharing the many traditional activities, foods and languages of different cultures, Peddie students were exposed to the many fascinating cultures of the world. Students had many positive reactions and fun experiences during this cultural week. According to Coco Zhou ’26, “…it allowed me to learn about fascinating traditions from other cultures, as well as being reminded of and having the time to enjoy customs of my own culture. I think the events made me feel more at home.” Ella Chon ’24 also voiced her influential opinion, saying, “I loved how various activities showcased different facets of cultural identities that make them unique. I especially enjoyed the Chapel performances that represented different forms of music and cultural history.” Overall, Peddie’s 2023 Language and Culture Celebration week was a success!