Confucius Institute at Durban University of Technology, South Africa, holds ‘Traditional Chinese Moon Festival Gala’
On the evening of September 7th, 2014 (local time in South Africa), the Traditional Chinese Moon Festival Gala, co-organized by the Confucius Institute at Durban University of Technology (DUT), Ethekwini Municipality, and South Africa KwaZulu-Natal Fujian Overseas Chinese Association, was held at the Durban City Hall, South Africa.
The Ladies Omama of Durban performing a traditional Zulu women dance
The Indlamu of South Africa performing a Zulu folk dance
A total of more than 700 people gathered at this event to celebrate the traditional Chinese Moon Festival, including government officials from different departments of KwaZulu-Natal Province and Durban City, faculty members and students of DUT, the public in Durban, local residents, representatives from Chinese Embassy in South Africa, and overseas Chinese in local communities. They also enjoyed the performances together brought by the Student Art Troupe of Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University and famous local Zulu art groups in South Africa.
This gala, which was planned by the Confucius Institute at DUT, consisted of four sections, speeches by distinguished guests, performances by art troupes from both China and South Africa, a celebration banquet and a lucky draw.
Dr. Rene Smith, Executive Dean of Faculty of Arts and Design at DUT, hosted the section in which distinguished guests were invited to deliver their speeches. First, Dr. Smith gave an elaborate introduction to the origin, development and folk custom of the Chinese Moon Festival, which stimulated audience’s interest in Chinese traditional culture. Then, Prof. Ahmed Bawa, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of DUT, and Mr. Song Bo, Education Counselor from the Chinese Embassy in South Africa, elaborated their understanding of the Moon Festival from different perspectives. They both expressed their appreciation of the Chinese traditional cultural values of this festival and their sincere wishes for the integration and harmonious development of cultures in China and South Africa.
The Student Art Troupe of Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University performing for the audience
The performances pushed the gala to one climax after another. On the one hand, the Student Art Troupe of Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University prepared some wonderful performances with strong characteristics of Chinese traditional culture, such as songs and dances of ethnic groups in China, traditional operas, martial arts, performances by Chinese traditional musical instruments, and more. On the other hand, three famous Zulu art groups, the Indlamu, the Maskanda Group and Ladies Omama, presented some songs and dances with strong Zulu characteristics, which won many rounds of applause from the audience.
Artists from China and South Africa performing together for the audience
This gala featured the performances in brand-new forms with strong characteristics of traditional cultures in China and South Africa, which showcased the artistic sentiments of people from different cultural backgrounds and their sincere wishes for a happy life and a harmonious world.
At the event, audience also had a chance to experience Chinese food culture and tasted the mooncakes and a great variety of Chinese dishes prepared by the organizers. Finally, in the lucky draw section, some lucky guests won big prizes.
This gala received close attention from local and overseas Chinese media in South Africa and was reported by various print and network media.
This is one of the important events to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Confucius Institutes and ‘Confucius Institute Day’ at DUT. It aims to strengthen the cultural exchange between China and South Africa, promote Chinese culture, and further boost the popularity and expand the influence of the Confucius Institute in South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal Province and Durban City.
In the meantime, this event received great support and close attention from the Ethekwini Municipality, who listed it as one of the series of activities of the Cultural Heritage Month in Durban. Traditional celebrations with Chinese elements in Durban will promote the development of cultural diversity in Durban, leading Durban to be a top tourist destination with a great diversity of languages, races and cultures.