Chopstick challenge as youngsters see in Year of the Horse

Children from Oakhurst Primary School celebrate the Chinese New Year at Oriental Aroma, in Royal Wootton Bassett. From left, Evie, owner James Huynh and Sebastian. Picture: Alex Skennerton

Sophie tucks in to her Chinese dish

Violet enjoys her Chinese food

First published in News

SCHOOLCHILDREN from across Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon have been celebrating Chinese New Year in style this week.

Oriental Aroma, in the High Street, held a three-day event for local primary schools to mark today’s arrival of the Year of the Horse.

Wootton Bassett Infants, Little Foxes Pre-School, Broad Town Pre-School and Oakhurst Primary School gathered individually at the restaurant for an all-eating, napkin-folding, chopstick-holding event.

Emma Urquhart, Year 1 teacher at Oakhurst Primary School, said: “We came last year as well and it’s a great way to start the Chinese New Year celebrations, which we will continue to learn about in the classroom.”

Each child and adult supervisor also provided a £5 donation in which every penny will go directly to the restaurant’s chosen charity, Prospect Hospice in Wroughton.

The event was a great way of introducing children to new and authentic Chinese food.

Oakhurst Primary School nursery teacher Laura Flooks said: “It’s fantastic. You don’t just get food, the kids get the whole experience and learn about the animals and the lunar cycle, napkin-folding, the whole thing.

“I’d like to give a big thank you to Oriental Aroma for putting in the extra effort and making this both a very tasty and educational afternoon.”

Restaurant owner James Huynh, 48, whose cousin recently relied on the support of Prospect, helped the children create napkins in the shape of fans, showed them how to use chopsticks and how to wish people a Happy New Year in Chinese – it’s ‘Gong Hey Fat Choy’ in Cantonese and ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’ in Mandarin.

The pupils who attended helped the restaurant raise an impressive £1,190, just falling short of last year’s total which was raised over a longer period of a week.

The restaurant has been helping to raise funds for Prospect Hospice since 2007 with several events and a special Golden Piggy on the counter that regular customers can drop donations into.

Last year, a total of just under £1,000 was raised from loose change alone.

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