Confucius Institute at the University of Montana Holds ‘Mid-autumn Family Fun Night’ With Much Success

[Source]    Confucius Institute at the University of Montana [Time]    2010-10-20 14:48:04 

These days if you visit LEWIS & CLARK Elementary School in Missoula County, Montana, United States, you would find the school's corridors dotted with works of Chinese calligraphy and brush drawings here and there. If you take a closer look, you will find the Chinese character for the word ‘moon’ written and various forms of rabbits and moons pictures drawn on rice paper. There are ‘moon’ characters of many sizes; some of them are written crookedly, there are also some drawings with English names on them. The works belong to students and student’s parents at LEWIS & CLARK Elementary School.

On the evening of October 6th, 2010, the ‘Mid-autumn Family Fun Night’ event was co-hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Montana and local LEWIS & CLARK Elementary School. The event was carefully planned by teachers of the Confucius Institute and Ms. Barbara Morrison, a well-known local traditional Chinese craftsman.

Thanks to school’s promotion of the event, there were roughly 80 students and parents participating on the evening. The whole event was colorful and proceeded in order. This event commenced with Ms. Qin Jie, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute, making an introduction on the origins and related beautiful legends of Mid-autumn Festival by using the a Power Point presentation full of excellent pictures and texts. Then Ms Barbara taught everyone how to write the character for ‘moon’ on the rice paper. Children and parents were learning Chinese calligraphy attentively. What’s more, with great interest the children also drew the moon and a rabbit on the rice paper. Finally children and parents stamped their works with a seal which had already been prepared by teachers from the Confucius Institute. The most exciting thing was learning to make moon cakes ---a kind of traditional food for the Mid-autumn Festival. Children carefully picked the moon cake molds to make the moon cakes; they wrote their names on the salt and rum paper used to bake the moon cakes so that they could recognize their own moon cakes later. Ms. Zhu Xiaohua taught the children how to do a long ribbon dance ---a kind of traditional Chinese dance --- before the moon cakes were baked.

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With the round moon cakes, fragrant tea and flying red ribbons, American children and their parents had a chance to experience and learn about the atmosphere of traditional Chinese festivals. They felt the beauty and pleasure of traditional Chinese culture through laugher and happiness.

Chinese courses have been set up for the secondary school students in the Montana state by Confucius Institute at the University of Montana. Additionally, various cultural activities have been hosted along with other services provided by the Confucius Institute with the purpose of furthering students’ interest in Chinese learning and increasing their understanding of China and Chinese culture.