Confucius Institute in Brittany holds “Food Court” of Chinese Culture Week, France

[Source]    the Confucius Institute in Brittany [Time]    2015-04-17 18:20:43 

On February 28, 2015, the eleventh day on the Chinese lunar calendar of the New Year, the City Hall Plaza (Place de la Mairie) of Rennes was filled with bustling crowds. The long-awaited event of “Celebrate Chinese New Year and Enjoy Food Court” was held on the Plaza as planned. It attracted more than 5,000 local residents. The Chinese Culture Week has successfully been held for three times by the Confucius Institute in Brittany with the strong support of the City Government of Rennes, which has become one of the most favored Chinese cultural activities by local people. As the highlight of the annual Chinese Culture Week, the food court event not only provides French people with delicious Chinese cuisine but also fantastic performances such as dragon dance, lion dance and traditional handicraft exhibitions. It fully demonstrates the traditional Chinese culture of the Spring Festival, and serves as a chance to share the festive joy with French people and send them New Year greetings from Chinese people.

The event officially began at 12 at noon. Soon, all the food stalls were crowded with long queues. There was a full range of delicious Chinese food such as dumplings, steamed stuffed buns, wonton, Chinese pancakes, Chinese hamburgers, steamed twisted rolls and fried rice. The French participants particularly enjoyed the sweet glutinous rice cake, honey lemon tea and milk tea because of the appealing tastes to their palates. While eating delicious Chinese food, they also appreciated the “flavor” of Chinese New Year. In another section, a feast of traditional Chinese handicrafts was exhibited. Local French students who were learning Chinese and members of the China Association of Chinese Ink demonstrated their calligraphies, paintings and delicate paper-cuts to the participants. With the “Goat” element everywhere, some citizens consulted the volunteers about the Chinese Zodiac with great interests and were eager to know about their own Zodiac animals. The most popular stall was the impromptu cartoon sketching. Cartoonist Mr. Kong Lingqiang captured many spontaneous moments on the spot and created cute, vivid and unique works with his acute observation and outstanding techniques, which marveled the audience and won many rounds of applause. Since French people have a special fondness for cartoon arts, Mr. Kong’s works were well received with strong resonance among the audience.

A portrait sketched by the Cartoonist for a participant

Freshly made Chinese pancake

The queue waiting for food was still long when the dragon and lion dance teams arrived together. Accompanied by cheerful gongs and drums, the professional dragon and lion dance teams coming from Paris for this event brought the day to an exciting climax. The performance teams were chased, followed and surrounded by exciting citizens. Following the professional dance teams, there was a mini dragon and lion dance team formed by local children who were learning Chinese. Holding their handmade paper dragon, they imitated the swirling, striding and swinging moves of the professional teams, which won the affection of the adult participants.

Local people queuing to see the dragon dance

A mini dragon and lion dance team formed by children

Through activities such as the food court and Chinese Cultural Week, traditional Chinese festivals are gradually known by foreign people. Chinese culture has also been acquainted and favored by more and more people.

At six p.m., the food court activity came to an end. In order to commend the diligent efforts of more than 50 Chinese overseas students who worked as volunteers, the Confucius Institute held a meeting to thank all the volunteers and awarded certificates to excellent volunteers.

In the following week, the Confucius Institute would continue to launch other series of cultural activities so as to present more fantastic and comprehensive Chinese culture to French people from different perspectives. Many media such as local radio stations, Ouest France newspaper and Breton Plus reported the events.

Story by Shen Linfang

Photographed by Ding Jingxuan


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