Bears make cultural connections
Students pose with Chinese Ambassador to the United States Xie Feng

Upper School Chinese program students were inspired to explore and deepen their curiosity about language learning after a visit to the Chinese Embassy.  

"It was a rich cultural experience for the Landon Bears, informing them of what benefits are possible by learning the Chinese language and culture,” said Xiaohong Yang Herrle, Upper School Chinese Teacher and Director of Landon's Chinese Scholastic Exchange Program. 

Ms. Yang poses with students during a visit to the Chinese embassy 

The group gained insight about studying Chinese in the United States through a documentary film entitled “Chinese Puzzle,” watched cultural performances, and tasted authentic Chinese food.  

Students eat authentic Chinese food during their visit 

“It was cool to learn a lot about the country itself and the language as well and how those two translate to tradition and history,” said Jeb ‘27. “It’s definitely more exciting to learn when you know there is a lot that the language opens up in your life.” 

Students with their families at the embassy 

The boys were joined by their families as they participated in language and cultural activities.  

“When they called on me to recite a poem, I was a bit nervous, but I knew I had practiced before,” Anthony ‘26 said. "I got a small stuffed panda after and that was something to remember it by. It was really special to me.” 

Anthony poses with his stuffed panda after reciting a poem aloud.

The Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Xie Feng, spoke about why it is important for the two nations to speak each other’s language.  He also called for student participation during a presentation highlighting the differences and similarities between the two languages. 

Xie Feng gives a presentation

“This event helped to inspire students to learn Chinese, enhance cultural understanding, and form friendships, despite the differences between the two cultures,” Yang added. 

The group from Landon poses for a picture outside the embassy 

That was especially true for Sammy ’27. 

“I learned many new things that I never thought about that could require a deep understanding of the Chinese language and culture. Every speaker up on the stage highly recommended traveling to China itself to experience the culture,” Sammy said.  “One of the speakers even remarked that going to China is vital in learning Chinese and that if you truly want to be able to understand a language, then you have to experience the culture of that language.  

“In his own words, ‘There is no language without culture, and there is no culture without language.’ I can't wait to go to China with Landon!” 

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