40th Anniversary of China-Belgium Diplomatic Relationship Series Young Belgian Coffee Drinkers Fall Enchanted with Chinese Tea

[Source]    The Confucius Institute at Group T [Time]    2011-04-13 11:49:02 

On April 7, 2011, invited by Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege, Diest, the Confucius Institute at Group T, together with Leuven Chinese School and China-Belgium Art & Culture Society, attended the annual “International Culture Day” to present Chinese tea ceremony and culture.

The tea, the Chinese national drink, began in Shennong, drunk by Duke Zhougong Dan of LU, grew popular in Tang Dynasty, culminating in Song Dynasty. The Chinese tea culture, mixed with Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist elements, creates a unique landscape. In a traditional Chinese red dress, Ms. Wang Lingyun of Leuven Chinese School gave a panorama show of where the Chinese tea comes from, what the origin of Chinese word “Cha” is, how the various tea is categorized, why there are different tea sets, which kind of tea matches your health, and who am I in the contemporary Chinese context. The Belgian teachers and students were much curious about and fascinated by the complex Chinese tea culture.

Ms Wang told the class that various kinds of Chinese tea come from the same crop - tea trees, but from different fermentation process. Afterwards, with the backdrop of soft south China music, the class was grouped to closely examine the distinction of Huang tea, green tea, Oolong tea, black tea, the Pu'er tea, the jasmine tea and chrysanthemum tea.

Ms Wang shows the difference of various Chinese tea

The climax came with the Kungfu tea ceremony. The young people looked surprisedly at the exquisite teacups, watched the teacher to demonstrate “General Guan Yu patrolling city” and “General Han Xin reviewing troops”, smelling the tea aroma...... All these intrigued the boys and girls with questions from time to time, “Do Chinese drink tea for every meal?” “Is the tea from rainy season is of best quality?”, and so on.

Though a short class, each student tasted at least five kinds of tea, the green tea, the jasmine tea, Oolong tea, the Pu'er tea and chrysanthemum tea, with the knowledge of basic Chinese tea etiquette. Look at how the students, full of enthusiasm to knock on the table lightly with their fingers, to show thanks to the tea server, which links a story of a private inspection tour of Kangxi, the Emperor of Qing Dynasty.

Ms Niu Serves tea

The one-day presentation includes four sessions, each with 90 minutes, attended by more than 20 teachers and students. The Chinese representatives’ meticulous planning and preparation, twelve kinds of tea and six tea sets, as well as the wonderful performance, earned them praises from the organizer and the teachers and students, who came for help to clean and carry the tea sets to show their sincere gratitude.

Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege of 125 years history holds the International Culture Day annually, inviting representing countries from Asian, African, the Americas and Europe. And it is the second time for the Confucius Institute at Group T to attend the event. The year of 2011 saw the 40th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relationship between China and Belgium, and also a Year of Exchanges for Sino-Belgian Youth. Mr Bai Yanlei, Chinese director of the Confucius Institute and Ms Niu Min, director of China-Belgium Art & Culture Society, promised to find more opportunities to share the Chinese culture with the young students.(The Confucius Institute at Group T, Belgium)

Group Photo-taking with the Belgian Teachers and Students