Children's Day was a colorful occasion in Shanghai yesterday — especially at No.1 Gao'an Road Primary School.
The downtown school was transformed into a mini United Nations as flags from different countries fluttered across the campus, while students, dressed in foreign costumes, staged a fashion show.
Over the past two months students have been learning about foreign cultures, with each class assigned to study one country.
Teachers directed students to search for basic information and to then write about their findings. Math teachers taught currency systems, English teachers told of manners in the countries chosen and asked students to write welcome signs and draw maps.
Art teachers showed how to draw national flags and distinctive architecture, while the music teacher described music and dance styles.
The children decorated their classrooms with features of the countries they had learned about and organized games for students of other classes who came to visit.
"I have learned a lot," said Yang Hanqing, a fourth grader. "Our class learned about Maldives and I searched many things about local customs and practices. It's very interesting. And I also visited other classes today, learned about many other countries and played many interesting games. I think this Children's Day is very special."
Teng Ping, the principal of the school, said that "through such study and activity, we hope to improve students' global vision."
Lakshitha Ratnayake, consul-general of Sri Lanka in Shanghai, visited the school and praised the activities.
"I think the students are very lucky to be here," he said.
Elsewhere, the city's Mayor Ying Yong visited Shanghai Children's Home in the morning to watch a performance by orphaned and disabled children there. "The International Children's Day is a holiday for all children and I wish you all happiness every day," he said.
Meanwhile China Welfare Institute announced yesterday a program aimed at inspiring disadvantaged children's talents in arts, whereby selected children would watch plays and be invited onto the stage to participate in performances.
The three-year program, entitled "Wish of Starfish," targets children aged 4 to 16 with cognitive disorders.
The China Welfare Institute also organized a performance and games yesterday at the Children's Palace, which was attended by about 500 families with children suffering from blindness, mental disability and autism.