CIUA launches various Chinese Spring Festival celebrations

[Source]    Confucius Institute at University of Antananarivo [Time]    2013-02-17 15:40:05 

The Chinese Year of the Snake comes after the Year of the Dragon. The teaching sites under Confucius Institute at University of Antananarivo launched various activities to celebration the Chinese New Year.

Mandarin Fever continues to soar

On January 29, 2013, students at the Political Study Institute in Madagascar welcomed their first mandarin lesson. The Institute organized a Chinese culture seminar on February 4. Chinese teachers taught local students to make Jiaozi in the seminar.

On February 1, 2013, University of Toliara situated in southwestern Madagascar launched its first Chinese language program. The event was covered by local radio and TV channels.

On February 5, 2013, Madagascar’s Ministry of Finance opened its first mandarin course. It is the second Malagasy ministry to open Chinese course after the Ministry of Defense.

On February 15, the Chinese and Malagasy directors of CIUA visited the secretary general of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Mr. Gatien P. HORACE to discuss about Chinese programs in local universities. On the same day, Madagascar Weekly published an article about an interview with Zo Rasendra, Director of CIUA. The article titled A Difficult But Must Language argues that as China’s influence raises in international community, though its difficult, mandarin is becoming a must language. Since its establishment in 2008, CIUA has set up 25 teaching sites around the island country, and 14000 people around the country have learnt Chinese in the Institute.

Various Spring Festival celebrations

At the beginning of Chinese Spring Festival, the teaching sites of CIUA organized various celebrations.

On February 9, 2013, Chinese teachers and learners in the mid-south Malagasy city of Fianarantsoa gathered to make Tang Yuan and watch the Chinese New Year Gala. In the northern city of Antsiranana, four volunteer Chinese teachers cooked Jiaozi together with local students. On the Chinese Eve, Chinese teachers around the country also participated in the celebrations sponsored by local Chinese community.

On February 10, 2013, in the celebration organized by the Yang Family Tai Chi Association in Madagascar, students from CIUA performed 4 Chinese dances to contribute to the celebration.

On the same day, in the city of Toamasina, Chinese Consulate sponsored a Chinese spring festival together with local Chinese community. The Chinese dances performed by Chinese teachers and local students grabbed the audience's attention. After repeated reports in local TV channels, the Chinese teachers there thus become stars in the city.

In Malagasy capital Antananarivo, CIUA sponsored its Spring Festival Gala. Chinese Ambassador Shen Yong and his wife were present in the celebration together with the staff from the Embassy. Local officials from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Ministry of Culture and Heritage, Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Energy, the leadership of University of Antananarivo, Madagascar-China Friendship Association, local Chinese and Chinese Entrepreneurs’ associations were also invited to the celebration. The gala demonstrated the customs of Chinese New Year and promote bilateral cultural exchanges. Local youth revealed their enthusiasm in Chinese language culture in the gala.

On February 14, 2013, Chinese medical team provided volunteer medical services for Chinese community in Toamasina. The volunteer Chinese teachers in the city contributed to the event as interpreters of Cantonese language.

All together, CIUA sponsored or participated in 20 activities during the Chinese New Year period, the audience was more than 2600.

Chinese Embassy and Consulate support CIUA

On February 6, 2013, all Chinese teachers in the capital area were invited to a Chinese New Year Reception sponsored by Chinese Embassy. Ambassador Shen Yongxiang sang high praise of the contributions Chinese teachers have made to promote Chinese language and Sino-Malagasy cultural exchanges.

On February 11, 2013, Chinese Embassy organized the volunteer Chinese teachers in capital area for cultural visits.

In the Spring Festival Gala held on February 13, 2013, Ambassador Shen awarded scholarship to excellent mandarin learners. Mr. Shen and his wife also sent greetings and gifts to the Chinese teachers.

Chinese Consular to Tamatave Zhu Kaixian invited local volunteer Chinese teachers to spring festival celebrations and sent Hongbao(money wrapped in red envelope) to the teachers.

As a seed of peace and amity, Confucius Institute has well settled down, spread and succeeded in Madagascar. When the Chinese community were celebrating the New Year and the Chinese teachers were busy sowing the seeds of hope in Madagascar.

Scenes of the Spring Festival Gala held in University of Antananarivo

Scenes of a celebration held by Chinese Consulate to Tamatave

Scenes of a celebration held in Tamatave Chinese School

Scenes of a celebration held in Diego-Surez

By Li Haijun