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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Hong Kong Series at CantoneseClass101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind holidays and observances in Hong Kong. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 25. Teachers' Day, or 教師節 in Cantonese.
Teachers' Day falls on September 10 in Hong Kong. Respect for the teacher is highly valued in Chinese traditional culture. In ancient times, a teacher's role was considered to be as important as the father's. How do you think it is now in modern society?
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you- After the Hong Kong Handover in 1997, there was a significant change to Teachers' Day. Do you know what it is?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
China's first Teachers' Day was held on September 10, 1985. Its mission is to remind people of the educators' influence, give recognition and respect to teachers, and commemorate Confucius, 孔子, the ancient education pioneer.
The contribution of teachers or 教師 to society is tremendous. To praise and thank educators for nurturing future generations, the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers organizes get-togethers, 聚會, on Teachers’ Day.
Hong Kong sees the quality of teachers as a very important matter, and started developing teacher training courses as early as 160 years ago. To maintain the high quality of teachers in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Institute of Education works on the teacher's professional training across all the universities and colleges in Hong Kong. Also, a Language Proficiency Assessment, or 語文能力評核, for Teachers is held every year by the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority to ensure the professionalism of teachers.
In some Chinese societies, parents send expensive gifts to teachers, hoping that the teachers will take "extra" care of their children in return. Therefore, the Ministry of Education in many regions has recently issued a ban on receiving gifts from parents. According to this rule, teachers who accept gifts can be convicted of bribery, 賄賂, in order to stop this unhealthy practice from having a serious impact on the education industry.
After graduation ceremonies, or 畢業典禮 in Cantonese, most secondary schools' and universities' students organize a Teacher Appreciation Dinner, or 謝師宴. During the dinner, students show their appreciation and respect to their teachers. It’s one of the memorial experiences that students have with their respected teacher and friends before they jump into the real world. Therefore, it also acts as a graduation dinner.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question- After the Hong Kong Handover in 1997, there was a significant change to Teachers' Day. Do you know what it is?
Before the Hong Kong Handover in 1997, Teachers' Day was on September 28, following the Republic of China system, But after the Hong Kong Handover, the date was moved to September 10, following the date celebrated in the People's Republic of China.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How do people express gratitude to teachers in your country?
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Okay, that’s all for this series. We’ll see you in the next series. Bye!