BY MARY ANN KUPELIAN PICO RIVERA – For the first time in the history of Armenian education in the United States–Chinese exchange students attending the Oxford School of Rowland Heights engaged in a program sanctioned by the Chinese and US government–visited the Armenian Mesrobian School in Pico Rivera–on Oct. 26–allowing the two ancient cultures to meet each other in soil foreign to both.
The 57 visiting Junior High students were accompanied to Mesrobian by their teachers and Vice-Principal David Chicoine.
In addition to touring the campus–the Chinese participated in an assembly–where they performed songs and dances–and played traditional musical instrumen’s to the enjoyment of the viewing Armenian students.
The Armenian and Chinese students exchanged their national flag as a token of friendship. Mesrobian’s Associated Student Body President Raffi Kassabian also presented a replica of a Khatchkar to Vice-Principal Chicoine as a token of the 1700th Anniversary of Christianity in Armenia.
A Mesrobian medallion with an etching of Mesrob Mashdots was also presented to each of the Oxford teachers accompanying the exchange students.
Mesrobian School Principal Garo Moumdjian also took time to explain to the visitors the historical importance and significance of the statue of the school’s namesake–Mesrob Mashdots–on the campus.
Following the completion of the program–the Armenian students invited the visitors to participate in games during the school’s recess–as well as socialize with their peers.
In a letter to Mesrobian School a week later–Oxford Vice-Principal Chicoine termed the visit to the Armenian school–a success attributing it to the warm hospitality extended by the Armenian students and faculty to their visitors.
Vice-Principal Chicoine also invited the Armenian students to visit their campus in February–where Mesrobian students can present and share their culture with the Oxford School students.Chinese