Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam Holds Its 1st Cultural Lecture in 2014

[Source]    Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam [Time]    2014-02-28 13:12:04 

At 4 p.m. on January 31, the Nkrumah Hall at the University of Dar es Salaam was reechoing with the sound of gongs and drums. As the prelude of a lecture on the Chinese Lunar New Year culture, traditional Chinese lion and dragon dances were being performed.

This lecture was organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam, and the attendees included Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Mgaya, Director of the Office of the Vice Chancellor Dr. Upor, Director of International Relations Dr. Dungumaro, deans of different colleges of the university, faculty and staff members as well as students and their parents. Daily News, Mlimani TV and TBC covered the whole lecture. The 300-capacity Nkrumah Hall was fully packed with audience. Students and teachers gathered here to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Tanzanian Director of the Confucius Institute Professor Qorro first delivered a speech, extending her heartfelt welcome to all the guests that came to this lecture and her sincere gratitude to the people who have always been supportive to the work of the Confucius Institute, and wishing everyone a Happy New Year of the Horse.

In his remarks, Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Mgaya first recognized the achievements made by the Confucius Institute since its establishment. He also hoped that more and more Tanzanian people will choose to learn Chinese language and culture in order to strengthen the friendly ties between China and Tanzania. At last he wished the lecture a great success. After his speech, Professor Mgaya granted a certificate to every one of the students having completed their Chinese language study at the Confucius Institute.

Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute Zhang Xiaozhen sincerely welcomed and thanked all the guests present. In her lecture, Director Zhang introduced the origin of “Nian” (the Chinese character for the word “year”) and the Chinese lunar calendar and the Western Gregorian calendar, the tales of the twelve Chinese zodiac animals, the “Spring Festival Travel Rush” or “Chunyun” as well as some traditional Chinese-new-year costumes. All the students actively interacted with Director Zhang, and especially when Zhang talked about Spring Festival Couplets and the Chinese character “Fu” (meaning “luck” or “blessing”), many students participated in the discussions. They read out the Spring Festival Couplets and enthusiastically answered Zhang’s questions. After the introduction of the twelve Chinese zodiac animals, students immediately memorized their order. Several “lucky listeners” were chosen in the lottery session and they could get traditional Chinese knick-knacks as a gift and red envelopes, which made everyone excited. Some art shows were also performed during the lecture, for instance, the Chinese song Gongxi Facai (May you be happy and prosperous) by the teacher Yan Hujie, Chinese Ballad by the teacher Mou Qibin and twenty primary school students and the Peking Opera Peking Opera Masks by the student Hei Long from the Chinese language class. These spectacular shows not only brought the joy and liveliness of the Lunar New Year to the Chinese teachers, but enabled the Tanzanian audience to experience in person the sweet “taste of the Lunar New Year”.

Director Zhang making a speech in the lecture on Chinese Lunar New Year culture

Professor Mgaya granting a certificate to the Tanzanian Director of the Confucius Institute who has completed her Chinese language study at the Institute

Some students inquiring about the enrollment information of the Confucius Institute after the lecture

When the host announced the end of this lecture, all the guests present stood up and applauded, showing their recognition of and fondness for this activity. Thanks to the lecture, the Tanzanian audience better knew about the origin of the Chinese Lunar New Year and the ways of celebrating it. A great many students said that they hoped more cultural activities like this would be organized by the Confucius Institute. In addition, some students showed their strong interest in signing up for Chinese language courses. They wished that one day they could celebrate the Lunar New Year in China.

This lecture on Chinese Lunar New Year culture held by the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam not only promotes Chinese language and culture, but expands the influence of the Confucius Institute, making it a window and a bridge for the Tanzanian people to understand China.