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

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

The Institute

Tireless in Teaching

President Hu Jintao came to the Confucius Institute in Chicago.

There were signboards used for Chinese learning hanging on the walls of the corridor, amongst them was one decorated with a Chinese couplet wishing for luck.

The study room which covers an area of about 100 square meters was decorated with Chinese calligraphy, paintings, a map of China, an abacus, kites, lanterns, Chinese knots and Weiqi (Goh) boards. The room is packed with bookshelves which are filled with Chinese books and multimedia teaching materials. Pictures showing the Confucius Institute’s visit to China were hanging on the wall, amongst which was a large group photo of students in front of the China Pavilion during their visit to the Shanghai Expo last year. There were 8 computers for Chinese language learning in the center of the room.

This Confucius Institute won the title of “Confucius Institute of the Year” four straight years from 2007 to 2010. Several principals came to make reports to President Hu on their achievements.

President Hu asked for details about the institute’s teaching and encouraged staff to keep up their good work and to contribute to improving exchanges and understanding between the peoples of China and the US. “You are doing a meaningful work. The US students learning Chinese and Chinese students learning English will create better opportunities for communication, helping to strengthen friendship between the people of the two nations,” he said. “Are you experiencing any troubles?” President Hu gave great attention for the working and living conditions of the Chinese language teachers and the teachers expressed their intentions to fulfill their duties.

“President Hu, thank you for your caring!” The teachers said heartily.


The Light of Mathematics

In the math room on the second floor, President Hu watched a demonstration lesson. Paul Karafiol, the Director of the Mathematics Department demonstrated the application of the latest techniques in classroom teaching and math study. Mayor Daley said proudly that Paul Karafiol is the greatest math teacher in Chicago- even in the whole country- and that the math group taking the lesson is very strong.

Paul Karafiol put forward a sophomore level question on calculating a mean value. The students used advanced calculators to solve the problem and gave different answers. The teacher then offered them guidance, pointing their explorations in the right direction.

Following the demonstration, a student representative presented President Hu with a team souvenir bearing the letters and numbers “HU 88” signifying that the president is the 88th member of the group.

President Hu gave furry rabbits in return, to the delight of the students.


Travel through Time and Space

In Payton Prep hall, more than 300 teachers and students welcomed President Hu with warm applause.

Students from nearby schools also came to attend the grand occasion and staged excellent performances for the guest of honor coming from afar: over 20 African American students sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as a demonstration of their ambition, and 10 pupils danced to the song “Spicy Pepper Girl” to demonstrate some of the allure of Chinese culture. The performances were met by warm applause.

President Hu gave a speech at the invitation of Mayor Daley.

“Today I am very happy to visit beautiful Payton Prep and talk with the students here. I’m especially struck by how bright and inquisitive the students are, by your multitude of talents and your all-round development. I hope that you cherish the time and work hard to enrich yourselves so as to lay a solid foundation for your future," President Hu said. “We have decided to invite 20 members of the faculty and students of this school to visit China in the coming summer holiday.” The president then presented the school with gifts—158 books and 42 discs, including classics from the Library of Chinese Classics, reference books promoting Chinese learning, books introducing the development of Chinese history and Chinese thought, readings and audio-visual products demonstrating Chinese culture, traditions and China’s natural scenic beauty as well as discs of Chinese films which have enjoyed great popularity.

President Hu presented the Confucius Institute in Chicago with China Exploratorium-related multimedia equipment and software.

Waving and singing farewell, the students extended their sincere blessings and wishes to their friends.

A year ago, the two heads of China and America attended a wonderful performance given by youth of the two countries in the Golden Hall of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. After appreciating colorful singing and dancing programs expressing a feeling of loving peace and the cherishing of friendships, President Hu made a speech. He said that we anchor our hopes in the youth, as they represent the future of our country.

“The youth, with thriving and robust vitality, brimming with creativity, are the hope and the future of the world. I sincerely hope that the youth of our two countries will make progress together, promoting friendship between our peoples and creating a bright future for the whole of the world”, President Hu’s remarks made during his visit to Yale University are still meaningful and thought-provoking.

The youth have always been in the vanguard of Sino-American exchanges, communications and understanding. 100 years ago, Chinese youth representatives such as Rong Hong and Zhan Tianyou came to America to learn advanced scientific and cultural knowledge, carving out the road for Sino-American exchanges. 80 years ago, reporter Edgar Snow came a long way from America to China’s Yan’an, introducing the hope of a Chinese revolution to the world and extending a hand of friendship to the Chinese people. 60 years ago, Chinese and American youth joined forces in fighting against fascist aggression, writing an unforgettable page in the history of the bilateral relations. 40 years ago, Chinese and American adolescent table tennis players made an important step towards the reopening of the gate of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The history of relations between China and America has shown us that the strengthening of exchanges between the youth of the two countries lays a solid foundation for communication, understanding and mutual trust between the two peoples.

“I believe that the youth of our two countries will bring lofty developments to the friendship between our people”, President Hu said with hope. His remarks fully confirmed the significance of youth exchanges between the two countries in relations between the two sides.

Reproduced from the title Passing the Torch of Friendship between the people of China and the US —President Hu Jintao Talks about the Future with the Youth of the US, Jan, 23rd, Page 1, People’s Daily. (Xinhua Reporters Wu Qimin and Wen Xian, Jan. 21st, Chicago)

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