Chinese New Year 2018

at the Pretoria Chinese School


Representative CHOU Wei-Chung from the TAIPEI Liaison Office

Director LAI Jin-Cheng from Overseas Community Affairs Council

Dr LAN Xiaoming from the Department of Basic Education

Mr CHIANG Chen Kuo from the Pretoria Education and Cultural Foundation

Professor LDM Lebeloane from UNISA

Ufrieda Ho, a freelance journalist and the student journalists from Northwest University in

Chicago, USA

Mrs Jil Hrdliczka – The founder of Knowledge Network


Representative CHOU Wei-Chung from the TAIPEI Liaison Office

Mr John Gelling – Principal Pretoria Chinese School

Angela Liu – Deputy Principal Chinese Pretoria Chinese School


In South Africa, a special place to celebrate Spring Festival is at the Pretoria Chinese School. Weeks of preparation, attention to detail, work and excellence result in a Chinese New Year Festival which is created for the children of the school, staff, parents and invited guests.

It is a delight, is beautifully delivered, uplifting of the spirit and introduces a small and unique part of Chinese culture in the most touching, magical way.

I was honoured to be invited and, through the videos and photos I took, share the day with you.

The children’s art, the music, the colours, the positive, happy atmosphere and enthusiasm in each performance was inspiring.

Pretoria Chinese School is home to hundreds of children who will grow up learning Mandarin, English, Afrikaans and Zulu, who will learn about Chinese and South African culture, who will be developed to pursue their dreams, reach their goals and enjoy life.

Many high achievers start out at the Pretoria Chinese School and benefit from the disciplined, orderly and structured Chinese academic life and participation in cultural festivals such as the Chinese New Year which ensures they are rounded and balanced with high hopes for themselves in life.

Culture after all holds people together, encourages unity, identity, belonging and pride. 

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is celebrated around the world. It is the longest Chinese holiday lasting about 15 days, decorations are bright and colourful, children receive red envelopes, desserts have special meanings – rice cakes for success, soup balls for reunion, and sponge cakes for “to get rich”.

It is a magical time, a celebration which also causes the largest human migration in the world. Chinese New Year is a family reunion. It is said travel arrangements are booked nearly a year in advance so people can get to their families for New Year’s Dinner.

It is also said the most firecrackers set off in the world are set off on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Firecrackers scare off monsters and bad luck and welcome the new year and good luck.

Chinese New Year ends with the Lantern Festival, it celebrates family reunions and society. It is a wondrous, beautiful and romantic time.

2018 is the Year of the Dog. John Gelling, the principal of the Pretoria Chinese School welcomed everyone and delivered the opening speech – Carefully and specially written for the audience – Pre-schoolers to international and local dignitaries.

For Chinese New Year 2019 in South Africa – Chinese New Year at the Pretoria Chinese School, the Nan Hua Temple, the largest Buddhist temple and seminary in Africa, in Bronkhorstspruit and the Lantern Festival in main street of Cyrildene are not to be missed.


Welcome speech by John Gelling

Da Jia Hao.

Good morning

I welcome you all to this celebration of the Chinese New Year, as we celebrate the start of the Year of the Dog.

I especially welcome our special guests today.

  • Representative CHOU Wei-Chung from the TAIPEI Liaison Office
  • Director LAI Jin-Cheng from Overseas Community Affairs Council
  • Dr LAN Xiaoming from the Department of Basic Education
  • Mr CHIANG Chen Kuo from the Pretoria Education and Cultural Foundation
  • Professor LDM Lebeloane from UNISA
  • Ufrieda Ho, a freelance journalist and the student journalists from Northwest University in
  • Chicago, USA.
  • Mrs Jil Hrdliczka – The founder of Knowledge Network

It is a pleasure to have you visiting us today.

I also welcome other guests today, our parents, members of the Pretoria Chinese School staff and the pupils.

Last Friday we all wore pink in Support of Cancer. We raised R5745.00. Well done to everyone and thank you so much for your support.

The last Year of the Dog was in 2006, so those pupils who are in Grade 6 were born in the Year of the Dog. Other Years of the Dog were 1994 and 1982.

If you were born in the Year of the Dog, then the following are deemed to be lucky for you:

  • Lucky Numbers : 3, 4, 9
  • Lucky Colours : red, green and purple
  • Lucky Flowers : rose, cymbidium orchids

There are different types of dogs assigned to each year of the dog, such as Wood Dog, Fire Dog, Gold Dog and Water Dog. This year is the Year of the Earth Dog, which has the characteristics of being communicative, serious and responsible in work. So this ties in very well with one of our themes for the year, which is Discipline – doing the right thing at the right time. If you think about a Dog, then its personality can be described in the following way:

  • Loyal and honest
  • Amiable and kind
  • Cautious and prudent
  • Dogs will do everything for the person who they think is most important.
  • Dogs tend to be born with a good nature
  • Dogs are always ready to help others
  • When dogs have doubts, they tend to criticize sharply

The best suited careers for Dogs are:

  • Police Officer
  • Scientist
  • Counselor
  • Interior designer
  • Professor
  • Politician
  • Priest
  • Nurse
  • Clerk
  • Judge

I look forward to the performances that we are going to watch shortly. I must thank Ms Liu, Mrs Neethling, Ms Hsiao and Mrs Hwang for the hours that they have spent ensuring that the performers involved are on top of their game. I thank the performers for their time and dedication over the past weeks, as without their input none of this would be possible.

I hope that you all enjoy what you will see.

gou nian daji

Wish you luck in the Year of the Dog

Gong Xi Gong xi


Xie Xie da Jia

Thank you everyone

“I have many fond memories of the Pretoria Chinese School, and always happy to seek back some of my roots.”

Yu-kai Chou Gamification Author & International Keynote Speaker at the Chinese New Year 2018 at the Pretoria Chinese School and son of the Representative CHOU Wei-Chung from the TAIPEI Liaison Office, speaker for Chinese New Year at Pretoria Chinese School.

From hardcore, addicted-to gaming school gamer to Gamification entrepreneur…

Yu-kai Chou started Gamification in 2003 and became a pioneer in the industry.

“I played games throughout my entire life, from my South Africa days to my Taiwan days, all the way to my Kansas, California and Vancouver days. I was a hardcore gamer, and whatever I played, I needed to be the best at it. I was almost incapable of playing a game casually. When I played games, I would whip out spreadsheets to figure out the exact combos that would make me win.”

“My transition to a gamification entrepreneur and designer came from an epiphany I had when I was in school.”

“Back then I played the Blizzard Game Diablo II very heavily, and had more than 5 characters above Level 90 and a couple above level 96. I was pretty hardcore at it. But at one point, my friends started to quit the game and move onto new games. Eventually I quit too and was in this transition period between games.”

“And then I suddenly felt extremely empty.”

“I thought, I spent thousands upon thousands of hours getting more experience, leveling up, accumulating more gold, collecting better gear. And now I have nothing. Is there really no meaning to all the time I have spent in the past few years?”

“I then started spending an obsessive amount of time trying to figure out how to make games more meaningful as well as make life more fun.”

“I created a professional network which turns a person’s network into something exciting as though that person was recruiting for a Mission Impossible quest. People had nicknames, they had “abilities” with levels assigned to them, and they get points if they helped out someone in the network.”

“I also turned my Excel spreadsheet and Access Database into something I called “The Alliance Game” where I would keep track of what all my friends were doing, where they were in life and see how I can help them become more successful. I call this vertical networking.”

“I also remember walking into conferences in the early 2000’s with my elevator pitch, “I am a specialist in turning products and productive tasks into games.” Only to get the blank stare: “We don’t play games here…nor do our customers.” How awkward.”

“It was about in 2006 when I finally dove into high tech startup products. I recruited a team and we launched FDCareer, a site that turns career development into an RPG game.”

“Helping people level up and ally with them is the best way to conquer complex quests in this real world.”

“Together we can complete cool quests to solve problems that the real world faces. In a game, the quest could be killing a monster or building a large empire. In the real world, a quest could be solving global warming, making a better search engine or running a successful non-profit.

“The beautiful thing about this particular game is, when you play it, it can be just as thrilling, and it actually makes a difference in this world. You would have made a positive impact in peoples’ lives, and you would be wealthy and reputable if you play it well. Sounds like a good deal.”

“The reason why I’m in gamification is not because I think it’s “interesting” or “cool,” nor because I think this is a money-making buzzword in a booming industry. I’m in gamification because I’ve lived it and breathed it throughout my entire productive life. It is my passion and the dream I am living.”

Jil Hrdliczka, Founder of Knowledge Network adds –

“There are hundreds of young learners like Yu-kai Chou walking the passages of the Pretoria Chinese School and other schools in South Africa. Who knows what they are thinking, which fields of study are being pioneered and the businesses that will emerge from their thoughts.”

“I hope all the learners in schools partnering with Knowledge Network take note of the use of spreadsheets and databases in gaming!”

“And that entry into entrepreneurship starts at school,” says Jil Hrdliczka, Founder, Knowledge Network.

“So best to listen up when spreadsheeting or coding / programming spreadsheets or creating fantasy creatures or animating sprites on a water fountain or viewing streets in foreign cities gets announced as the KN Session for the day by your mentor.”

“I can’t begin to imagine where it might take you in time.”


Chinese New Year 2018 at Nan Hua Temple Bronkhorstspruit South Africa