Spring Festival Fair Held at the Geneva Community by Confucius Institute at Alfred University

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Alfred University [Time]    2014-02-27 13:34:01 

On January 28th, 2014 (local time), the Confucius Institute at Alfred University successfully held a Spring Festival fair at the West Street Elementary School in the city of Geneva ((New York State, USA). Although it was the coldest winter in recent ten years, Ms. Trina Newton, Proctor of the Geneva School District, Ms. Nina McCarthy, Principal of the West Street Elementary School, and Ms. Danielle Ouillette, Principal of the North Street Elementary School, all came to participate in the fair together with more than 200 students and their parents.

Ms. Trina Newton (left), Proctor of the city of Geneva (New York State, USA)

Practicing Chinese calligraphy

The gymnasium and dining hall of the West Street Elementary School were decorated with red couplets and Chinese knots for Spring Festival atmosphere. Children, while enjoying tasty dumplings, experienced various Chinese cultures, such as doing paper cuttings, making Chinese knots, making lanterns, and learning to use chopsticks. Chinese calligraphy also attracted many young students, and they all took brush pens to try to write Chinese character “马” (horse), which really looked like horses.

Kicking shuttlecocks

Those young students who loved sports gathered in the gymnasium. Even though they were not good at kicking shuttlecocks, they didn't give up and kept on trying with even greater enthusiasm. Running while carrying a Ping-Pong ball was a parent-child activity required collaboration between parents and their children and was quite popular among the participants. After the victorious young students won their bookmark prizes, they became teachers to teach their parents to read in Chinese “Xie Xie” (thank you), “Ni Hao” (hello) and “Zai Jian” (goodbye). Some of the young children, while running all over the place with Chinese national flags in their hands, were shouting “Zhong Guo” (China) again and again, which even livened up the festivity of the event.

Towards the end, Ms. Wu Zhongbei from the Confucius Institute at Alfred University, together with three of her students, En-Ya Shen and Yiling Weng from the North Street Elementary School and Ro-Ann Shen from Geneva Secondary School, presented the audience a wonderful Guzheng (Chinese zither) concert. One parent told us that her kid was learning Chinese language at school and now her kid wanted to learn Guzheng as well. She felt quite happy that he wanted to become more “Chinese”.

Officials of the Geneva School District also participated in the activities throughout the event and, on behalf of the school district, expressed the gratitude of students and parents towards the Confucius Institute. This fair not only enriched the cultural activities in the community but also energized people’s enthusiasm in learning Chinese.

By Chen Si and Liu Debing