Even as India gets ready to welcome Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, the students of Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar, are brushing up on their Mandarin to impress the visiting premier.
Wen will visit the school on Wednesday during his three-day India tour.
His visit to the school acquires special significance after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) last week announced the introduction of Mandarin in schools starting from Class 6 from the new academic session 2011-12.
“We are very excited to welcome the Chinese Premier. This is a great honour for us. Some of us who will be part of the interaction have been learning basic words like ‘neehow’ (hello), ‘csea csea’ (thank you) and ‘ziteau’ (goodbye),” said Vatsala Pant, a Class 11 student.
While the school head girl, head boy and house captains from classes 11 and 12 will participate in the interaction, others from classes 6,7 and 8 who have been learning calligraphy and mandarin through e-classrooms will also be present. The students are going to wear a mix of Chinese and Indian outfits.
The Chinese premier, who is scheduled to visit the school in the evening for half an hour, will teach the students a few mandarin words, calligraphy and also gift books to help them learn mandarin. “Students will discuss their perception of China with him and also ask him what the people of China think about them. He will also teach them how to write ‘Indo-China friendship’ through calligraphy,” said principal Madhulika Sen.
The students, too, are equally eager. “We want to ask him about India-China bilateral relations and about Chinese culture,” said Tushar Rawal, a Class 12 student.