New Semester Saw Opening of Traditional Chinese Culture Course in Secondary Schools of La Rochelle

[Source]    Confucius Institute in La Rochelle [Time]    2014-02-26 10:12:06 

At the start of the New Year and with the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Horse approaching, the Confucius Institute in La Rochelle, invited by Saint André High School and Notre Dame Junior High School, reopened the cultural experience course of Chinese calligraphy and paper-cut there to spread the long history and culture of China.

Chinese characters, as the carriers of Chinese civilization, are the most direct and apparent reflections of Chinese culture. Right before the class, the volunteers handed out brushes, ink and paper to all students who were joyful and excited when taking these materials. The teaching of calligraphy was divided into the following steps: introduce the origins of Chinese characters, show the correct way of holding the brush, explain the stroke orders, and practice writing in copybooks. All students kept their eyes wide open and listened carefully, which demonstrated their yearning for this unique Oriental art treasure. After Director Han wrote the Chinese characters – “日(the sun)”, “山(mountain)”, “月(the moon)”, and “人(human)” – on the blackboard, the students eagerly copied the words and practiced them over and over again. Director Han’s smooth writing of the Chinese pictographic character “马(horse)”, in particular, received the cheers of the students. Although the students’ handwriting of Chinese characters was unsteady, the serious look on their faces touched every volunteer present.

After experiencing the wonder and greatness of the calligraphy, the students enjoyed the aesthetic edification of the paper-cut. Because the Spring Festival was approaching, we taught students how to do the paper-cut of the Chinese character “春(spring)”. The students were still deeply interested and watched attentively the volunteers’ demonstrations for fear of missing anything wonderful. When it was their turn to practice the paper-cut, they carefully used either pencils or rulers to do it. They practiced cutting the Chinese character “春(spring)” repeatedly and had fun with it. The small red paper conveys the ancient Chinese people’s love for life, so the learning of paper-cut is to walk into the world of the traditional Chinese culture as well.

In this cultural experience course, students and our volunteers took a pleasant and unforgettable cultural journey together. During the course activities, we could always feel the foreign students’ longing and love for Chinese culture. In the future we will continue to further promote this kind of cultural activity, so that more people will understand China and Chinese culture will flourish all over the world.