Brazil opens the first two Confucius Classrooms

[Source]    People’s Daily [Time]    2015-06-18 16:30:03 


Recently, the Confucius Institute at the University of Pernambuco in Brazil opened two Confucius Classrooms which are the first two Classrooms opened by Confucius Institutes in Brazil.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Pernambuco is situated in Recife, a port city in north-eastern Brazil. Thanks to the support of Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), it was jointly established by the Central University of Finance and Economics in China and the University of Pernambuco. Its two Confucius Classrooms are set in the Catholic University of Pernambuco and St. Maria School (Colégio Santa Maria) respectively.

St. Maria School is the best-known private school in Recife with more than 4,000 students from the age of one and a half to seventeen. The inauguration ceremony of the Confucius Classroom was held at the auditorium in the school. About 200 students of different grades attended the ceremony, and appreciated an art show with distinctive cultural features of China and Brazil offered by Brazilian students and teachers from the Confucius Institute.

The Confucius Classroom in St. Maria School

“Who sent you to my side…” When the melody of Indian Girls rose, a teacher from the Institute in white folk costume started with a twirl, which ignited the audience present. Some held up their mobile phones and some clapped to the beat. At the two sides of the stage, the children who had just performed Brazilian folk dance were unwilling to leave. They imitated the teachers on the stage, raising their hands, kicking their legs and spinning as if in a dance class.

“She dances so well. I love her dance and also the music,” said the 9-year-old Duda in her dance costume. It is the first time that she has ever watched a Chinese dance. Duda’s mother, who sat in the audience, said that the Sino-Brazilian relationship is growing more intimate and there are more different forms of cooperation, so she is going to ask Duda to sign up a Chinese language course.

The Confucius Classroom in the Catholic University of Pernambuco

Chinese language has been attached with even more importance in universities. “Confucius Institute will serve as a bridge connecting Brazil and China and help more university students in Brazil know about China,” said Rector Pedro Oliveira of the Catholic University of Pernambuco in an interview. In this well-known university, Chinese course will soon be incorporated into its credit system.

“Chinese and its relevant courses were first set as optional courses, and later will be included into the list of compulsory courses. We are still negotiating with the university, trying to set up a Chinese department here. If approved, it will become the first Chinese department in Brazilian universities,” said Mr. Wang Gang, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Pernambuco.

On Benfica Campus of the University of Pernambuco, a three-storey blue building will be the future home as well as the permanent home of the Confucius Institute. “Over the past year since its establishment, the Confucius Institute at the University of Pernambuco has organized various activities like Confucius Institute Culture Week and recruited many students. The university is optimistic about the prospect of the Institute and looks forward to further cooperation with us. So they came up to us and offered a better and permanent teaching site,” said Wang Gang.

As scheduled, this “new home” of the Confucius Institute will soon finish its interior decoration and then be used for Chinese teaching. It covers a floor space of 760 square meters, including a culture experience center, a reading room, a Chinese talent teaching room and more.

By Ding Gang & Hou Lulu


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