Confucius Institute Headquarters Open Day held in Beijing
On 25th September, the 2nd Confucius Institute Headquarters Open Day themed on "Cultural Exchanges and World Peace" was held in Beijing. The event was attended by about 500 people, including envoys to China from 38 countries, representatives from organizations that promote languages and cultures such as Cervantes Institute and Russian Cultural Center, representatives from some Beijing-based Chinese partner universities of Confucius Institutes, and Confucius Institute students on a scholarship to study in China.
At 2 pm, the opening ceremony of the “Confucius Institute Headquarters Open Day” officially began and was hosted by Madam Xu Lin, Member of CPPCC National Committee, Counsellor of the State Council of China, Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters and Director General of Hanban. At the ceremony, students from China and other nations performed the yangqin (a Chinese hammered dulcimer), gave a cello quartet of Lift Your Veil and Eternal Friendship, and recited the poem Prelude to Water Melody. Guests addressing the ceremony included Paul Kavanagh, Ambassador of Ireland to China; Shi Jianjun, Member of the Council of Confucius Institute Headquarters and President of University of International Business and Economics; Moussa SY, a participant in the “Chinese Program for Foreign Diplomats”; and Abieva Amina, a Ph.D. candidate under the “Confucius China Studies Program” of Peking University.
Paul Kavanagh, Ambassador of Ireland to China, addressing the ceremony
Speaking at the event, Paul Kavanagh said that culture is about exchanging ideas and values and creating new things. Cultural exchange enables us to be more tolerant and helps us avoid conflicts, hence bringing peace and reconciliation. Therefore, the Confucius Institute facilitates peace. And as its friends and partners, we will work together and commit ourselves to the cause of world peace.
In his speech, Shi Jianjun said that the Confucius Institute not only equips a large number of international students with a profound knowledge about the Chinese language and cross-cultural communication, but also builds a bridge for exchanges in science, technology and culture among universities and offers support for their internationalization.
Moussa SY from the Embassy of Senegal in China delivered a speech on behalf of all participants in the “Chinese Program for Foreign Diplomats”. He said, “My Chinese name is ‘Xi Lai Fu’. Since I started to learn Chinese two and a half years ago, I have known the subtlety of the Chinese language, understood Chinese people’s customs, traditions and culture, and learned how to get along with people here based on friendship and mutual respect.”
Abieva Amina, a representative of Ph.D. candidates under the “Confucius China Studies Program”, comes from Russia. In 2008, she started to study at the Confucius Institute at St. Petersburg State University in Russia. After five years, she has realized her dream and become a local Chinese language teacher. She regarded the Confucius Institute as a bridge connecting different people through various ways and a spreader of the message of peace all over the world.
The Envoy Forum “Cultural Exchanges and World Peace”
After the opening ceremony, a variety of cultural activities took place, including an envoy forum, lectures on literature and art, a drama performance, a free TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) consultation, and a gala for international students in China (entitled "Song of Peace”).
At the envoy forum, Madam Xu held a discussion with the diplomatic corps from Russia, EU nations, Australia, Tanzania on the current situation of language and cultural exchanges among those countries and the role played by the Confucius Institute in promoting the process. They shared success stories and explored strategies to boost people-to-people exchange in the context of multiculturalism.
Yu Junjian, a top-class Chinese singer, was invited to give a lecture on “How to Sing Chinese Songs Well”. On the basis of his rich performing experience, he shared his thoughts on how to understand the cultural meaning of Chinese folk songs. The audience was so fascinated that when the one-hour lecture finished, they came up to talk with Yu Junjian and were reluctant to leave.
At a workshop entitled “Chinese Contemporary Literature: Mine, Yours, and Ours” at the BELENCRE café, Xu Zechen, a renowned writer born in 1970s, winner of the 6th Lu Xun Literature Prize for Short Stories and nominee for the 9th Mao Dun Literature Prize for Novels, conducted heated discussions with the listeners and shared their different understandings of literature.
Through a series of activities, visitors got to experience traditional Chinese music, Beijing Opera, ink wash painting, traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese food, and other amazing aspects of Chinese culture.
At the “Song of Peace” Gala in the evening, Confucius Institute scholarship students from the U.S., Canada, Ukraine, Japan, South Korea, Cuba and other countries performed dances, folk music and poetry recitation to express their love for peace and determination to create a bright future. These activities on the Open Day lasted until 8 pm.
Lecture by Yu Junjian–“How to Sing Chinese Songs Well”
Beijing Opera highlights
Culture Salon “Chinese Contemporary Literature: Mine, Yours, and Ours”
September 27th, 2014 marked the 10th anniversary of Confucius Institute and the first global “Confucius Institute Day”, for which President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang sent their congratulatory letters to highly commend the unique role played by the Confucius Institute in promoting cultural and educational exchanges between China and the rest of the world and strengthening friendship between Chinese people and peoples of other countries. This is an evidence of Chinese government’s great concern and strong support for the Confucius Institute. The same day, the Confucius Institute Headquarters held the first “Open Day”. At the opening ceremony, Madam Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the State Council and Chair of the Council of Confucius Institute Headquarters, read the congratulatory letters and delivered her speech. In addition, more than 400 foreign university presidents sent their congratulations to Confucius Institute Headquarters. Around 3,900 activities were held by 465 Confucius Institutes and over 700 Confucius Classrooms in 123 countries.
Up to now, altogether 495 Confucius Institutes and 1,000 Confucius Classrooms at primary and secondary schools have been built up in 134 countries around the world.
“Song of Peace” Gala by international students in China