Confucius Institute at University of Saint Thomas, Chile, hosts Chinese New Year celebrations

[Source]    the Confucius Institute at University of Saint Thomas [Time]    2015-02-04 17:09:02 

On the evening of January 16 local time, the Chinese New Year Culture Evening Show was staged at Quinta Vergara, the largest performance centre in the city of Viña del Mar, Chile. The show was organized by the Confucius Institute at University of Saint Thomas, the Chinese Embassy in Chile and the municipal government of Viña del Mar. China’s Zhejiang Song and Dance Troupe, along with the local dragon and lion dance teams, put on a spectacular performance for the local Chilean residents. Close to ten thousand people watched the show, including Mr. Li Baorong, Chinese Ambassador to Chile, Virginia Reginato, Mayor of Viña del Mar, Jaime Vatter, President of the University of Saint Thomas, Mr. He Yong, Cultural Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Chile, local dignitaries, overseas Chinese people and residents as well as foreign tourists.

The evening gala officially began at 9 p.m. with the show of Triumphal Return of Fishing Boats, a perfect combination of excellent Chinese folk dance with traditional folk gong and drum music of Zhoushan, which had such a strong Chinese flavor that all the audience present applauded warmly. The ensuing traditional Chinese folk music performances, including the playing of the bamboo flute and sheng tunes of Birds in Shade and A Delightful Night, the guzheng unison of Combating Typhoon and the erhu unison of Humming at the Waterside, received the audience’s great praise as well.

In addition to the show of Chinese folk music, the traditional Chinese folk dance Ode to the Lotus Flower accompanied by music and the solo dance of The Third Lunar Month in Early Spring by Zhejiang Song and Dance Troupe also showcased the philosophies of nature and beauty in traditional Chinese culture through the dancers’ skilled and graceful performance, which brought the gala to one climax after another.

One of the highlights of the whole show was the playing of the well-known Chilean song named Gracias a la Vida (Thanks to Life) with traditional Chinese music instruments by Zhejiang Song and Dance Troupe. The minute the familiar melody was heard, the crowd immediately burst into cheers. Everyone clapped their hands to the rhythm of the music as if they had been a part of the performance.

Time flies. The wonderful gala finally concluded with the folk music ensemble of Blooming Flowers and Full Moon. Amid a big round of applause, the performers of Zhejiang Song and Dance Troupe reappeared on stage and gave another performance of the folk tune of Being Together as an encore. After the curtain was drawn, the audience gave a standing ovation to show their recognition of and fondness for the show.

Virginia Reginato, Mayor of Viña del Mar, said excitedly, “Just like everyone else here tonight, I think the show was utterly mind-blowing. Though the show has ended, I still want to see more of it. But of course I know that’s not going to happen, so let’s just hope that the next Chinese New Year celebrations will come sooner.”

Besides the evening gala, the Chinese New Year celebrations also covered traditional Chinese culture teaching, themed photo exhibitions, etc. From January 12 to 18, some 800 Chilean people participated in on-site teaching activities concerning Chinese calligraphy, tea art and paper-cut. In addition, the one-week-long “The Memory of New China” Photo Exhibition and dragon and lion dances attracted a total of over 8,000 local residents and foreign tourists.

Lilian Espinoza Guerra, Chilean Director of the Confucius Institute at University of Saint Thomas, noted that it had been the fourth consecutive year that the Confucius Institute jointly hosted Chinese New Year celebrations with the municipal government of Viña del Mar and the Chinese Embassy in Chile. These celebration activities not only play a positive role in spreading Chinese language and culture and expanding the local influence of the Confucius Institute but also serve as a bridge and a window for the Chilean people to better understand China.

by Shen Wenting


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