Submitted by Simsbury Public Schools
On February 12, 2013, students enrolled in the Chinese courses at Simsbury High School, along with teachers Shiffon Theodorou and Wendy Ku, as well as Wendy Lee, a substitute Chinese teacher who is also a Simsbury parent, went to Asian Meadow Cuisine located on Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury for a Chinese New Year celebration. During this celebration, Asian Meadow Cuisine owners Sam Lin and his wife Mei Shu Gao welcomed the students and teachers with dumpling skins and prepared dumpling fillers. Mr. Lin provided students with a demonstration on filling and wrapping the dumplings.
“We learned how to properly wrap dumplings and wontons. It was cool to learn since this is something I never knew how to do before,” said senior Mark Gschwind. “Through the demonstration, they taught us how to make and wrap the dumplings, and the instruction was spoken in Chinese, which made us practice our listening skills.”
Chinese student Kevin Jordan discussed his experience celebrating Chinese New Year with the Chinese students at Asian Meadow Cuisine. “I enjoyed learning the different ways to wrap and make dumplings and wontons. After we wrapped them, they cooked the ones we made and we got to eat them. My classmates and I finished all the dumplings we made. They were really delicious!” Other traditional dishes were also given to the students as part of the celebration.
Freshman Chinese student Rosemary Wallace particularly enjoyed eating the noodles. “The noodles are important to Chinese New Year because they symbolize longevity. Since I am a vegetarian, the noodles were perfect!”
This year, Chinese New Year was on Sunday, February 10, 2013 and it is now the year of the Snake. As a Chinese tradition, many families spend New Year’s Eve together and prepare dumplings from scratch. The dumplings are then cooked and eaten at midnight. Each method of wrapping the dumplings conveys a different symbolic meaning. For example, round dumplings signify family reunions, whereas crescent-shaped dumplings symbolize wealth and prosperity, due to the resemblance of ancient Chinese money.
Through this celebration at Asian Meadow Cuisine, the students were able to participate in a Chinese tradition and experience the Chinese culture. “This was a great opportunity to come together with the other students at Simsbury High School taking Chinese as a language, especially for the Chinese New Year. I felt like part of a family celebrating Chinese New Year,” concluded Gschwind.