First Confucius Classroom of Groningen Confucius Institute (Netherlands) Officially Opened

[Source]    Groningen Confucius Institute [Time]    2014-02-20 15:51:34 

On January 6th, 2014, the opening ceremony of the first Confucius Classroom of Groningen Confucius Institute (Netherlands), the Confucius Classroom at Kandinsky College, was held at the Kandinsky College in the city of Nijmegen, Netherlands. It was also the first Confucius Classroom in Netherlands.

More than 100 guests from the education sector, government, enterprises and media were invited to this opening ceremony, and Mr. Hubert Bruls, Mayor of Nijmegen, also attended this ceremony. Ms. Liu Jingyi, Chinese Director of the Institute, and Ms. Xuefei Knoester-Cao, Netherlands Director of the Institute, attended the ceremony as special guests. Also, Li Yunxuan and Hao Cui, two volunteer Chinese language teachers of the Confucius Institute participated in the ceremony as performing guests.

The opening ceremony was started with Chinese and English welcoming remarks by two college students. Ms. Clementine van den Berg, Vice-Principal of the Kandinsky College, hosted the opening ceremony. First, Ms. Yolande Ulenaers, Principal of the Kandinsky College, introduced the whole process of establishing this Confucius Classroom and said that since “a journey of a thousand miles begins with single steps”, it was still a very long way to go in managing this Classroom. Then, Mr. Hubert Bruls, Mayor of Nijmegen, expressed his heartfelt congratulations on the establishment of the first Confucius Classroom at Kandinsky College and emphasized the importance for colleges to be more involved in international exchanges and the significance for college students to learn a foreign language. Director Liu Jingyi was invited to make remarks, in which she described the rapid development of China and the special charm of Chinese culture in a lively way. She also used stories with philosophical connotations to elaborate the basic ideas and concepts to learn a foreign language well. The Chinese dances and Taijiquan (a kind of traditional Chinese shadow boxing) performances by the two volunteer teachers attracted all the audience and won several rounds of warm applauses. After that, the two students who delivered the welcoming remarks came back to the stage again and together rang a big Chinese gong. This led to the opening of a red Chinese-style gate on the screen. After the gate opened, images of Chinese students learning English were shown, which represented the exchange between schools in China and Netherlands. This unique design served as an announcement to all the guests that the Confucius Classroom at Kandinsky College officially opened.

As the first one in Netherlands, the opening ceremony of the Confucius Classroom at Kandinsky College was also widely covered by the media in Netherlands. As a famous newspaper, de Volkskrant published a special report on this opening ceremony on January 7th. The establishment of the Confucius Classroom at Kandinsky College was another significant step in Chinese language education in local communities by Groningen Confucius Institute after the Ministry of Education in Netherlands announced Chinese language as an examination course in college preparatory schools. In addition, another two Confucius Classrooms, one at Vincent van Gogh Middle School and the other at Theresia Middle School, will be officially launched on February 8th, 2014 and February 21st, 2014, respectively, by Groningen Confucius Institute.