Two Confucius Classrooms Affiliated to the Confucius Institute at Venice University Officially Opened

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Venice University [Time]    2014-05-08 10:18:53 

At 11:00 am on March 14, 2014, the opening ceremony for the Confucius Classrooms at Luigi Einaudi Istituto Professionale di Stato Per Servizi Commerciali Turistici (LEIPSPSCT) and Istituto Aleardo Aleardi (IAA) was held in the form of a news conference at the Red Hall of the provincial government of Verona, the place where a UNESCO World Heritage site is located and where Shakespeare’s masterpiece Romeo and Juliet was set.

Mr. Marco Luciani, Director of Education Office of Verona Provincial Government, hosted the news conference and delivered a speech on behalf of the local government. In his speech, he emphasized that the official opening of the two Confucius Classrooms was of immense significance to promote Chinese language teaching in local communities and strengthen the mutual understanding and exchange between people in China and Italy. Next, Mr. Flavio Filini, Principal of LEIPSPSCT, and Ms. Maria Grazia Nalin, Principal of IAA, delivered their speeches respectively. They first reviewed their efforts in applying for Confucius Classrooms in the past several years. As two prestigious middle schools of distinct styles in local communities, they, with the help and support from the Confucius Institute at Venice University, have made great efforts in promoting Chinese language teaching, especially in accepting Chinese as a compulsory course. They also expressed their heartfelt gratitude towards various parties for their great support.

Unveiling the nameplates of Confucius Classrooms at the news conference

Then, Ms. Laura Dona, an official from the Ministry of Education of Italy, also made some remarks. She emphasized that learning Chinese language and understanding Chinese culture have become a necessary requirement for students in modern times. As she pointed out, the origins of various cultures in today’s global village should be sought in different countries, and the ever-long lasting Chinese culture has already become the lifeblood for the learning and work in today’s world. As a leader to launch the first Chinese language course in Verona, she sincerely hoped that Chinese language and culture could bring much closer relations between China and Italy, among universities and middle schools, among the education sectors and the workplace, and among different schools.

Ms. Gui Qin, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute, was also invited to make some remarks. She was the first Chinese to give a speech in Chinese in this news conference hall of the Verona government. In her speech, she expressed her gratification and wishes for the official opening of the Confucius Classrooms, and hoped that the two Classrooms would continue their efforts and set up good examples in promoting Chinese language to become a compulsory course in local primary and middle schools. After her speech, she presented to the two school principals a congratulatory letter from the Education Office of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of Italy, and made a brief summary of the letter, in which the Embassy expressed their willingness to support and encourage the development of the two Confucius Classrooms.

After the speeches by the distinguished guests, students from the senior section of the Istituto Aleardo Aleardi (IAA) performed the singing of Ode to Joy of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in five different languages: Chinese, German, English, Spanish and Italian. After the beautiful and melodious singing, the red silk covering the nameplates of the two Confucius Classrooms was slowly removed by students of different nationalities, which led to a round of warm applause in the hall.

Putting the nameplate on the wall

On the afternoon of the same day, the two schools continued their celebration of the official opening of the Confucius Classrooms. At the gate of Istituto Aleardo Aleardi (IAA), students from the primary section stood in lines and welcomed the guests with Five-Star Red Flags in their hands. A series of artistic performances then followed, which included an acrobatic stunt performance by some Senior Five students from famous circus families in local communities, a flute and guitar ensemble of some pieces of Verdi’s classic music by Junior One and Senior One students, a chorus singing of Domenico Modugno’s famous Volare (Fly) by students from Senior section, a recital of the poem He Ming (Crane Singing) of Xiao Ya (Minor Odes) in the Shi Jing (Book of Songs) and the poem On Reading by Zhu Xi (a Song Dynasty Confucian scholar who became the leading figure of the School of Principle and the most influential rationalist Neo-Confucian in China), and a chorus singing of the Chinese folk song Jasmine by the students who were learning Chinese. All the performances came to an end in the singing of the classic Italian song O sole mio (My Sun). After that, amid the national anthems of China and Italy, the nameplate of the Confucius Classroom was officially put on the sidewall of the teaching building where Chinese classrooms were located.

Putting the nameplate on the wall

The official opening ceremony of the Confucius Classroom at the Luigi Einaudi Istituto Professionale di Stato Per Servizi Commerciali Turistici (LEIPSPSCT) was conducted together with its school anniversary celebrations, which attracted not only the teachers and students but also the residents in nearby communities. A large crowd of people on the playground could easily be seen from the school gate, and they were greatly enjoying the music by trumpets and drums and the fighting and boxing performances by the Kung Fu team. After enjoying the performances on the playground, guests walked into to the classroom to listen to students’ singing of Chinese and Italian songs and watch their show of performance art. Then, amid the music by the trumpeters, all participants gathered together outside the main building and witnessed the unveiling of the nameplate of the Confucius Classroom in great excitement.