The “Chinese Skills Workshop” of the Confucius Institute at the University of the Poitiers Wins Great Popularity

[Source]    Confucius Institute at the University of the Poitiers [Time]    2012-10-23 15:42:25 

This year is the second year that the Confucius Institute at the University of Poitiers has held the “Chinese Skills Workshop” activities, in which students learn, through the teachers’ introduction, some Chinese cultural knowledge including Chinese characters’ culture, Chinese traditional festivals and twelve Chinese zodiac signs, etc. After that, they personally made some arts and crafts by hand featuring the traditional Chinese art, including Peking opera masks, lanterns, Chinese knot bracelets and paper-cut greeting cards under the teachers’ instruction, from which they experienced the charm of the traditional Chinese handicraft culture and art.

In the Spring Festival when every family’s house is decorated with lanterns and streamers, the students cut out many bright red paper-cuts of the Chinese character “spring”; in the Mid-Autumn Festival when the heady fragrance of osmanthus flowers is wafted through the fresh air, they created lanterns in various shapes; on the Mother’s Day, they made colourful Chinese paper-cut greeting cards; on the Father's Day, they wrote lively and vigorous calligraphy works. Their parents also learned bits and pieces of the Chinese culture through the children’s handmade works, which has imperceptibly set up a bridge connecting Chinese and French cultures. Every activity is an opportunity to experience China in person, and it not only uses the means of pictures, slides and videos for French people to understand the various aspects of the Chinese culture, but also deepens their impressions of the Chinese culture through the traditional handicrafts.

Chauvigny students made Mother's Day paper-cut greeting cards.

Providence junior high school students made Chinese knot bracelets.

Providence junior high school students created their Father’s Day gifts - calligraphy works.

Voulon primary school students painting Beijing opera masks

The “Chinese Skills Workshop” is rich in the cultural charm of traditional Chinese handicrafts and can stimulate children’s interest to read Chinese characters and learning Chinese language. The workshop has broken the limitations of the previous cultural classes, in which the teacher gives lessons and students listen, and added fun and interactivity to Chinese learning. Since the launch of “Chinese Skills Workshop” in the Confucius Institute and the local primary and secondary schools, it has been well received by primary and secondary school students as well as their parents. There have been hundreds of people involved in this activity. In the future, the Confucius Institute at the University of Poitiers will continue to expand the “Chinese Skills Workshops”, with more colourful and rich cultural experience content so that this characteristic activity can be carried out for the long term in local primary and secondary schools.

By Ma Huanjie