“Thank you, teachers,” said students of SMJK Yuk Choy Ipoh, as they served a cup of tea to their teachers during Teacher’s Day celebration on Tuesday, May 16. More than 90 students walked up to their teachers, bowed and handed them a cup of tea. It was a form of gratitude for the teachers’ dedication and sacrifices in educating them.
The scene touched everyone’s heart. It was a memorable Teacher’s Day, the first of its kind ever held at the school. Inspired by an ancient Chinese tradition, principal Chan Hen Huan said that serving tea to teachers signifies their respect and adulation.
“This is to cultivate respect among students for their teachers, which is grossly lacking nowadays. We too wish to highlight the roles teachers play in their students’ lives. They’re like parents who love them unconditionally and will correct them if they are wrong,” he said.
The principal added that the tradition, a cultural trait of the Han Dynasty, and held for the first time at the school, made a significant impact on the school’s history. “Chinese culture is revived and the traditional virtue of respecting teachers is carried to the present. We hope the students will appreciate their teachers more, like in the past,” he told Ipoh Echo. After the tea ceremony, the audience was entertained to performances by students. Some of the teachers, whose birthdays were in May, were pleasantly surprised with a birthday cake.
Teacher’s Day in Malaysia is celebrated annually on May 16, while World Teacher’s Day is held on October 5.