Church Mandarin lessons
DECATUR (AP) — While the American presidential election was busy engaging in lots of intense China-bashing, a group of language students in Decatur were being sent home with some of the poetic thoughts of the late Mao Zedong, the first chairman of the Communist Party of China.
It turns out that Chairman Mao, in between fighting to establish the People's Republic, took a great leap forward into poetry whenever he had a moment. He wrote more than 20 published poems and Chinese scholars rank him as a pretty good wordsmith. One of his creations is called "Snow" and waxes lyrical about the Chinese countryside in winter and Mao's own place in a hot history of heroes. Learning it has been a homework assignment at Decatur's Sunrise Chinese School.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the school is that it exists at all. At a time when few long-established colleges or secondary schools in Central Illinois offer instruction in conversational Chinese, the Sunrise School not only teaches spoken Mandarin but the written version, too.
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