Confucius Institute in Bologna Hosts Spring Festival Celebrations and Chinese Culture Enjoys Great Popularity
Chinanews online service, Bologna, February 17th—According to the European Union News Agency (Italy), Bologna, an Italian city with spectacular history and culture, was clad in white snow at the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, and the wushu gymnasium at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara was brilliantly lit up for the “Amazing Kungfu” Confucius Institute Grand Spring Festival Gala. The gala was sponsored by Hanban and undertaken by the Education Department of Henan Province and the Confucius Institute in Bologna.
A 27-member wushu troupe consisting of teachers and students from the Songshan Shaolin Wushu Vocational School as well as folk music artists from various colleges and universities of Henan Province presented local citizens with a wonderful kungfu and folk music performance.
Mr. Clalidio Mazzanti, the representative to Bologna’s Mayor and a member of the city council, Prof. Xu Yumin, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute, Hanban project officials Mr. An Shi and Mr. Zhang Yue, Mr. Liu Hongyuan, a representative of overseas Chinese in Bologna, as well as local celebrities watched the performance.
Before the performance, Mr. Clalidio Mazzanti delivered a speech. He reviewed his friendship with the local Chinese people and community over the past 20 years, and stated that the increasingly frequent exchanges between China and Italy, especially in culture, have opened a window for local citizens and the Italian people in general to learn more about China. On behalf of the mayor of Bologna, he expressed his appreciation for the Institute’s contributions to the development of Chinese education in Bologna in the past 3 years, and his gratitude for the wushu troupe coming to perform for his people despite the heavy snow. Finally, he said he welcomed the opportunity for more people to engage with the charming Chinese culture and wished the performance a great success.
In her speech, Chinese Director Prof. Xu Yumin thanked all the guests who came to watch the show in spite of the severe winter storm, all members of the wushu troupe, as well as the Bologna government which has lent great support to the event and the local Chinese community. Director Xu reviewed the Institute’s establishment and development, and gave a presentation on the Institute’s Chinese courses, HSK test and Chinese scholarships, and invited local citizens to take Chinese courses at the Institute.
Amid powerful music, the wushu troupe and members of the Bologna Wushu Association first presented the audience with exciting and vigorous wushu fighting sets. The Shaolin boys first demonstrated a set of Shaolin boxing. In return, the Italian girls showed a set of Meihua boxing, which amazed the audience. The Shaolin boys won warm applause with their Bodhidharma sword, while the Italian boys caught the eyes of the audience members with their swordsmanship set. The Shaolin boys demonstrated Shaolin chunqiu broadsword while their Italian peers showed Qimei stick. Although the performance had never been rehearsed, the two parts established a good partnership with each other on the stage thanks to wushu, and presented the audience with a wonderful performance at the beginning of the gala.
Afterward, a number of traditional Chinese musical instruments, such as guzheng, erhu, pipa, changdi and sheng, were demonstrated on the stage, which aroused great interest among the audience members.
The Shaolin masters also demonstrated the 18 types of Shaolin weapons, including broadsword, Shaolin staff, spear, sword, nine section whip, three section staff and double hammers. All the weapons were skillfully mastered by the Shaolin boys. They gave a full display of the profoundness of Shaolin kungfu.
The highlight of the gala was Shaolin hard qigong. Three Shaolin masters demonstrated 3 unbelievable qigong stunts, namely, throwing a sewing needle through glass, breaking a steel plate on their head, and breaking sticks with their body. Their performance left a deep impression on the audience and won rounds of warm applause.
By Bao Yinhui