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2nd JESIE Annual English Festival in Wuxi

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On November 30th 2017 primary and middle school students in Wuxi gathered for the 2nd Annual English Festival. Students and teachers had fun speaking English and offered a great variety of performances, dancing, singing and acting. The festival opened with an original play from Wangzhuang Middle School educating us on the deceptions one can encounter on the internet with Bill, Hillary and Monica, three characters who fortunately weren't based on well-known American personalities. The moral of their story: Beware of who you meet on the internet because everybody on the internet wears a mask. This performance was followed by a very inspirational song from Wangzhuang primary students called Run Run Run Young Guys of Wangzhuang. They really didn't run out of inspiration for this beautiful song. Other performances included many covers of popular songs with talented singers and dancers and their dazzling costumes. The crowd had the chance to hear Roar from Katy Perry, Faded from Alan Walker and Rihanna's Diamonds, among many others. Some students chose to perform in very elaborate plays with lovely decors and stunning costumes.

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Everyone enjoyed the classical play Wusong Da Hu (Wu Song Beats the Tiger), the tale of a glorious fight between a hero and a tiger. Wu Song, a very conceited man, walks into a bar and drinks more than he can handle. He then goes up a hill and meets a hungry tiger which at first scares him to death. After begging the tiger to let him live, Wu Song uses a clever subterfuge to distract the tiger and questions his authenticity. "Are you a real tiger?" asks Wu Song. Insulted, the tiger starts bragging about his attributes and Wu Song lures him into taking a selfie, whereby he blinds the tiger with the flash and beats it to death. Just when you think he'll be celebrated as a hero by the villagers, the police shows up and handcuffs him: "We should protect animals, not kill them!" Great moral twist to the story and wonderful adaptation to today's world, where selfies abound and can sometimes bring unexpected consequences.

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Another play surprisingly well-adapted to our consumer society was The New Three Little Pigs, with the excellent performance of the wolf's wife, a poor, selfish fashion victim flashing her high-end Chanel bag and latest iPhone, demanding from her husband that he brings her the three little pigs she saw on her way home, demand which the poor wolf won't be able to satisfy. The festival ended with a heartfelt performance of Wuxi's foreign teachers, who entertained adults and kids alike with their cover of Queen's We Will Rock You. The whole crowd joined in with the clapping and singing. It was hard not to! The performances this year were truly impressive and most had a great message to share through their songs or plays, such as "A person is a person, no matter how small." Decors and costumes were gorgeous and students showed a high level of English proficiency. This is very promising for the 3rd Annual Festival!