Weiqi Course Offered by Confucius Institute at the University of Poitiers Is Well Received

[Source]    Confucius Institute at the University of Poitiers [Time]    2013-05-09 10:08:34 

With the cooperation between Poitiers University for the Aged and the Confucius Institute in the past two years, 60-85-year-old people have been new students of the Confucius Institute in addition to university students, primary and secondary school students as well as adult education students. The students of the university for the Aged who are learning Chinese have gained more and more understanding of Chinese language and culture, and the extensive and profound Chinese culture has made them curious about Chinese chess and card games. The elderly folk have repeatedly made suggestions to teachers and to the institute directors about offering Chinese Weiqi (Go chess) course. They were eager to play Chinese Weiqi. Since 2013, the Confucius Institute has offered a Weiqi course, which is not only popular among the senior students but has also been well received by the young students. Since the course was offered, there have been 45 students who have learned to play Weiqi.

The Weiqi Class

When Chinese chess and card games are mentioned, the most typical one must be Weiqi. In China, Weiqi has a history of more than 4000 years. It was one of the four skills – musical instrument, chess, calligraphy and painting that the ancient Chinese literati must be equipped with when cultivating their moral character. Weiqi is related to the old idea that the Earth was square and Heaven was round. To some extent, Weiqi embodies the equality concept of the Chinese people. It is mild, and focuses on sagacity. It is an art but not limited to an art. It contains abundant oriental philosophies – “acceptance and rejection”, “gain and loss”, and “activity and inertia”. This is also the reason why Weiqi was spread far away across the sea to Japan and then South Korea, and has developed well.

Guo Yugang, a teacher of the Confucius Institute, taught the Weiqi course. Teacher Guo has a good knowledge of Weiqi history and tactics, and he used to publish the Chinese Spirit Traveling through 4000 Years of History in the 5th issue of the Confucius Institute. In the Weiqi course, Teacher Guo gave a detailed introduction to the past and present status quo of the art of Weiqi, and explained the basic rules for Weiqi beginners. The subtle fragrance of sandalwood and the melody of High Mountains and Flowing Water in the classroom created an elegant atmosphere. Weiqi seems to be simple with only black and white chessmen alternating with each other, but there is the association of activity and inertia as even the most insignificant chessman can be crucial in determining victory or defeat. The students were absorbed in the explanation. Formerly, they used to know nothing about Weiqi, which has now opened another window for them to a trip to China for cultural exploration. The students are greatly looking forward to the next class and learning more about the profound essence of Weiqi.

Explaining the Weqi Rules for Young Students

Students’ Practicing

Students’ Practicing

The Chinese chess and card games show different aspects of Chinese culture to foreign students. Chinese history is not just long standing and tranquil. The flower of Chinese culture bursts into bloom with every one of these chessmen.

By Wang Zhao