Last Friday, we invited some Keats students to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival together – we made tons of dumplings that we couldn’t finish at all. Around 10 days before the Spring Festival arrived, Keats staff have started to decorate the school as what we did in the past. Students can feel the Spring Festival at every corner at Keats. You could see the “福” on the doors and windows. This spring festival was a little bit different because Keats had eight new friends: 7 fish and 1 dog. We understood how excited they were for the Spring Festival.
Just before we officially started our dumplings making event, the cook at Keats had already prepared everything: the flour, the filling (cabbage and pork), several rolling pins, and several chopping boards. While we waited for the students to come, we displayed lots of pictures about Chinese dumplings and played some traditional Chinese music that we only listen during the Spring Festival. As the students came with great curiosity, we started the event.
The cook Mrs. Zhao at Keats started to teach students how to make the dumplings wrappers. The cook poured some water into the flour and stirred the flour. The flour soon became sticky. The cook took a part of the dough and kneaded it into a cylinder. Once the cylinder was cut into small pieces, it was ready for a dumpling wrapper. It was not an easy task for the students as you had to rotate the piece by one hand, and spread it by the rolling pin to make it round. However, some students learned the techniques very quickly and soon became ambidextrous, which amazed the cook and many Chinese teachers.
After the wrappers were ready, we started to fill the wrapper with the fillings we prepared ahead of time. Getting the right amount of fillings was the critical point. If it was too much, then it would be too hard to wrap it. Mrs. Zhao showed how to adhere the edges of the wrappers to make a good-looking dumpling. Students had great fun making Chinese dumplings as well as their own style dumplings. To our surprise, some students made even more beautiful and creative dumplings with triangle, square, flower, and all cool styles. Mrs. Zhao was busy boiling the dumplings that the students made. The most exciting part of the event was to try how the creative dumplings tasted. From the expressions of the students, we learned that they really enjoyed the delicious food they made on their own. As a reward, each student and each teacher received a red envelop 红包 from Keats. The red envelops usually contain lucky money to foreshadow a prosperous year, which is a tradition of Chinese culture. The red envelops also contain Keats best wishes to all students and all teachers for a wonderful year.
Teaching students to make dumplings cannot fully express our love for Chinese culture, so we also taught our students how to write the Chinese character “福” in Chinese calligraphy. “福” means luck and we wanted to express our best wishes to all. Students learned it very quickly. Just practicing a few times, the students can already write it as good as Chinese people. We can see a happy smile of each student when he/she had his own “luck”.
Overall, the dumplings making was a very successful event. Many students enjoyed it and suggested us to hold more cultural events in the future. We had a great time together chatting and playing. Thanks to all the students who came to the event, we invite you to join more future Keats events.
Happy Chinese New Year! 恭喜发财! 猴年大吉!