President Hu Jintao Paid a Visit to the Confucius Institute in Chicago

[Source]    Xinhuanet [Time]    2011-01-27 14:10:49 
 

 

Jan. 21st- Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a visit to the Confucius Institute in Chicago and welcomed by the teachers and students. (Photo by Xinhua Reporter Lan Hongguang)

Jan. 21st- Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a visit to the Confucius Institute in Chicago and welcomed by the teachers and students. (Photo by Xinhua Reporter Lan Hongguang)

Jan. 21st- Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a visit to the Confucius Institute in Chicago and welcomed by the teachers and students. (Photo by Chen Junbo)

Jan. 21st- Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a visit to the Confucius Institute in Chicago and welcomed by the teachers and students. (Photo by Chen Junbo)

A Meaningful Visit as the New Year Begins

“The young are the future of a nation and the hopes of the world. The prospects of China-US relations are in the hands of the young people of the two countries.” During his state visit to the US, Chinese President Hu Jintao made a visit to Walter Payton College Preparatory High School in Chicago (Walter Payton Prep) and had in cordial talks with US students and expressed his expectations regarding China-US relations.

A White-Clad Chicago in Winter

At 9:40 a.m. on Jan. 21st, local time, President Hu Jintao arrived at Walter Payton Prep and received a warm welcome from Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley; Chicago Board of Education President Mary Richardson-Lowry; Terry Mazany, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Chicago public schools; Payton Prep principal Mike Hermes, and teachers and students as well as parent representatives. The Payton Prep Male Chorus which performed at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics sang a song to welcome the honored guest.

In the school hall, President Hu Jintao listened to a report concerning the state of Chicago public schools and made inquiries about Payton Prep which was set up in 2000 and now boasts approximately 900 teachers and students. Chicago is known as “America's leader in Chinese language teaching” and their Chinese courses are also one of Payton Prep’s distinguishing features. The Confucius Institute in Chicago is located in Payton Prep and is also the only one of its kind set up in a middle school in the US, being responsible for the coordination of Chinese study programs for nearly 12,000 students from the 43 schools within in the Chicago public school system.

The Classroom

Warm and Unforgettable

A Chinese language class is ongoing.

When President Hu entered the classroom, the students stood up to greet him, “Good morning President Hu!”Dozens of US students varied in colors applauded whilst making a chorus of "welcome" in Chinese as Hu arrived. They had long been looking forward to this moment. A notice on the white board read “Welcome President Hu” surrounded by phrases such as “I like China”, “Chicago is fantastic” and “Chinese language is cool”.

“Hello, Dear Students!” President Hu greeted the students in a cordial manner.

President Hu invited Lu Wenya, a teacher of Chinese, to his side and inquired about her work. President Hu smiled with praise when he learned that Ms. Lu had been teaching at the school for over 10 years and has trained hundreds of US students.

Everyone in the class has a good Chinese name. Two girls named Mengmeng and Jiang Wenxin came to the platform and presented an introduction on Chicago’s geographical and cultural landscape. President Hu listened carefully and nodded approvingly.

President Hu Talks with the Students

“What’s the difference between China and the US in your opinion?”: a student named Chen Yunyao asked with a sparkle of curiosity in his eyes.

“China and the US have different histories, culture, social systems and levels of development, but their peoples are peace-loving and in pursuit of growth. I hope that the friendship between our two nations will last forever.” The students listened earnestly and nodded in agreement.

“Why did you choose our school?”Jia Li asked cheerfully.

“Because I learned that your school nurtures leaders and is the best one in Illinois. I’m pleased to talk to you- it makes me feel much younger.” This humorous answer made the students smile because Payton Prep’s motto is “We nurture leaders”.

“I also have some words for you: First, knowledge is the key to the future; Second, language is the bridge for communication and exchange; Third, the youth are the future of a nation and the hopes of the world. Our future is in your hands. I hope Payton Prep will nurture more leaders in the future.” A student called Bei Anman presented President Hu with a large card that he had made himself with signatures and greetings from 21 of his peers, reading “Dear President Hu: wishing you good health, good luck and much happiness throughout the New Year”. The president gave the students furry rabbits in return. He said the Year of the Rabbit is approaching, and that the white rabbit is a symbol of good luck. President Hu also wished the students all the best and wished a happy New Year to Ms. Lu’s family.

Friendly Talks Bring Warmth to the Classroom.

1 2 Next