By Louise Carpenter,2014-09-25 10:09
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     The aim of the programme is to expose students to English used in authentic situations where students from different cultural backgrounds discuss their own cultures and customs. The programme also helps enrich and extend students’ language

    learning experience beyond the classroom.

Programme Outline

     Three students from different cultural backgrounds, namely, Chinese, Indian and Scottish, introduce to the audience the festivals they celebrate and some of the customs that are unique in their cultures. The first segment of the programme is about Chinese Lantern Festival that takes place on the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year. The second segment is Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, which is an important festival in the Indian calendar. The last segment introduces some Scottish costumes, Scottish dancing and Highland (Scottish) games in a carnival for families.

Additional Information for students (Please refer to COPYMASTER 1)

Pre-viewing Activity

    a. Introduce the programme outline and ask if the class has heard of the Chinese Lantern Festival, Diwali and if anyone has seen Scottish dancing, a kilt, the bagpipe, etc.

    b. Students can refer to the additional information in COPYMASTER 1.

While-viewing Activities

    Before the introduction of each festival or carnival in the programme, there are some questions related to that particular segment. Ask the class to read the questions in COPYMASTER 2 before watching the programme and answer the questions while viewing.

    Suggested answers: (It is at teachers’ discretion to accept answers in complete sentences or in note form and to accept answers that are sensible and have similar meaning to the answers suggested below.)

    Chinese Lantern Festival

    1. Lantern Festival is on the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year.

    2. Beautiful lanterns of different shapes and colours will be on display.

    3. The most popular game played during the festival is a guessing game in the

    in the form of riddles/lantern riddles.

    4. It’s also known as Chinese Valentine’s Day.


    1. Diwali normally takes place in November in the western calendar.

    2. On the evening of Diwali, people decorate their homes with many little

    glowing lights. That’s why it’s also called the Festival of Lights.

    3. The prayers are offered to all the gods and goddesses to ask for blessings.

    People go to the temple to pray.

    4. We have/cook special Indian desserts made of flour and honey on Diwali. Scottish dances and Highland games

    1. A tartan is the patterns and colours on the kilt of a Scottish family or a clan. 2. It’s called a “sporran”.

    3. A caber is used for the test of strength in a Highland sport/game. 4. The musical instrument is the bagpipe.

Follow-up Activity

    Group Discussion (COPYMASTER 3)

    1. Brainstorming: ask pupils to suggest which Chinese festival is similar to the Indian festival, “Diwali” which is full of “lights”. They most probably will come up with Mid-Autumn Festival because there are lanterns lighted everywhere in the evening of the festival.

    2. Suggestions:

    (i) What types and shapes of lanterns have you seen? Encourage them

    to be more imaginative about the different types and shapes of

    “glowing lights”. Examples: some people light their candles

    inside lanterns made of paper or plastic in the shapes of fruit or

    animals; some use toys while some use fluorescent sticks these days

    instead of the traditional lanterns.

    (ii) Special food or fruit we eat on Mid-Autumn Festival include moon

    cakes, star fruits, pears, peanuts and taros.

    (iii) The bagpipe is a traditional musical instrument Scottish people play

    while the Chinese people have traditional musical instruments such

    as the flute, erhu, pipa, guzheng dizi, gongs and drums.

Extended Activity

    Teachers might like to refer to p.204, the exercise on Scotland in Exemplar Learning Task for Key Stage 3 in Appendix 7 of the “Syllabuses for Secondary Schools English Language SECONDARY 1 5 (1999) Prepared by The Curriculum Development Council


    Additional Information

    Chinese Lantern Festival

    Chinese Lantern Festival is held on the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year. The Festival is a popular day for family dinner or going out for family entertainment. The main attractions of the Festival are the display of lanterns of different shapes and colours and a carnival that offers lantern riddles, fortune telling, magic shows, taking photos in traditional costumes, folk dances, etc. It is also believed that Lantern Festival provided an opportunity for young men and women to meet each other in the old days. That explains why it is sometimes known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day nowadays.


    Diwali means the Festival of Lights. On the evening of Diwali, people decorate their homes with many little glowing lights all around their houses and gardens or rooftops in India. The lights are tiny flames in clay saucers filled with oil. Many people in India believe that a goddess named Lakshmi brings good luck and the little lights help Lakshmi find her way to their homes. The festival normally takes place in November in the western calendar and is celebrated at home, in the office and in the Hindu Temple. Diwali is as important to the Indian community as the Chinese New Year to the Chinese people.

A Carnival of Scottish Dances and Highland# Games

     The carnival provides family entertainment such as Scottish dancing, traditional Highland sports/games such as “Tossing the Caber”, the Highland regiment’s march and some Scottish musical instruments such as the bagpipe and the drum. In the programme, we can see the Scots, both female and male wearing the same kind of costume that looks like a skirt, with different patterns and colours. That traditional costume they are wearing is not a skirt. It is called a kilt. The patterns and colours of the kilt are called the tartan. Each family or clan has a different tartan. The Scotsmen also wear a sporran around their waist in

    front of their kilts. The sporran is made of leather and is used as a purse and, in the past, also acted as a protection to the body. Another special costume is a knife that fits down the side of their stockings. It is called the skean dhu” (or


    #“Highlanders” is another name given to the Scottish people. Geographically Scotland is divided into the highlands and lowlands. Those who live in the highland are called “Highlanders”.


    Please answer the following questions while you are watching the programme

     Chinese Lantern Festival

    1. What day of the Chinese New Year is the Lantern Festival?

2. What will be on display for families and visitors to see during the Lantern Festival?

3. What is the most popular game played during the Festival?

4. What is the other name for the Lantern Festival?

Diwali or the Festival of Lights

    1. In which month of the western calendar do the Indian community celebrate Diwali?

2. Why is it called the Festival of Lights?

3. And whom do they pray to and where do they go to pray?

4. Is there any special food cooked on Diwali?

Scottish Dances and Highland Games

    1. What is a tartan?

2. What is the original name of the purse the Scottish men wear around their waist in

    front of their kilts?

3. What is a “caber” used for in a Highland game?

4.And what is the name of the traditional Scottish musical instrument that looks like a

    leather bag with several pipes coming out of it?


    Follow-up Activity

    Group Discussion:

    1. On which festival do we also see a lot of “glowing lights” in

    the evening like the Indian festival, Diwali or the Festival of


    a. What types and shapes of lanterns have you seen?

    b. Do we have any special food or fruit during the festival?

    2. The Scottish people play a traditional musical instrument

    called the bagpipe. What traditional musical instruments do

    the Chinese people play?

    Please complete the table below when you finish the discussion.

1. Name of the festival

a. Types and shapes of lanterns you have


b. Special food and fruit we eat during

    the Festival

2. Examples of Chinese traditional

    musical instruments

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