The Year of the Pig was ushered in at Greenbank Preparatory School by a delegation from Manchester’s China Town.
The top independent primary school in Cheadle Hulme works closely with the sino-anglo Manchester based firm Suman Education, who sent a team of teachers and administrators both from the U.K. and China to tell pupils about ancient Chinese culture and custom.
Among the topics was the 4,000 years of history behind Chinese astrology, which assigns an animal to every year, 2019 being the Year of the Pig, the last sign of their 12-animal zodiac.
Chinese astrology is based on animist religions of early societies which valued animals more highly than mere pets or food for slaughter and the Year of Pig will be special for those who enjoy life but are prepared to work; those who don’t make an unnecessary show of vanity and those who believe in action not just words.
Greenbank’s boys and girls also practised some traditional Chinese crafts including Tai Chi, dancing, singing, papercutting, calligraphy and Chinese knot making.
Helen Yan from Suman said: “ It was an amazing day to work with these lovely children from Greenbank. They were really respectful to our staff, showed us around the school, and some of them even learned "how are you" in Chinese.
“All of our staff are surprised by how receptive the children are to different cultures, how versatile they are and how engaging and creative they are to new challenges. We all are more than delighted to have this incredible time with these incredible children.”
Greenbank Preparatory School Headmistress Janet Lowe said: “Our pupils were fascinated by ancient Chinese ideas and values and enjoyed every second of a wonderfully entertaining, colourful and informative visit from our Chinese friends and partners.”