Spreading Chinese Culture, Building Bridge of Friendship
—Confucius Institute in Edmonton Celebrates Fifth “Confucius Institute Open Day” and Tenth Anniversary

[Source]    Confucius Institute in Edmonton, Canada [Time]    2018-10-11 14:29:03 

On September 29th, local time, the Confucius Institute in Edmonton (CIE) held activities to celebrate the fifth “Confucius Institute Open Day” and its tenth anniversary.

Over 400 people attended the event, including Trisha Estabrooks, Member of the Council of Edmonton Public Schools Board (EPSB), Lorne Parker, Vice Director of EPSB and President of the Council of CIE, Stephen Tsang, former President of Edmonton Chinese Bilingual Education Association (ECBEA), Rick Gingras, President of Parkallen School, and local residents.

With the theme of “Mutual Learning and Mutual Respect for Cooperation, Harmony and Diversity”, these activities aimed at promoting local residents’ understanding of Confucius Institutes, thus advancing their understanding of the Chinese culture. These activities also served the purpose of promoting complementarities and harmony between the Chinese culture and other cultures.

Trisha Estabrooks, Lorne Parker and Stephen Tsang delivered their speeches respectively, expressing gratitude to the CIE for its contributions over the past decade to the development of the Chinese language project of Edmonton public education. They highly praised the CIE for its efforts to meet the demands of local communities for Chinese language and culture, and boost the diversified local culture, and also expressed their expectations of the future development of the CIE.

Trisha Estabrooks delivering a speech

Lorne Parker delivering a speech

Stephen Tsang delivering a speech

Students of the Confucius Classroom affiliated to the CIE presented eye-popping shows, such as dance, martial arts, musical instrument performance and Chinese folk art. The shows started with the dragon dance performed by students of the Confucius Classroom at McNally Senior High School. With the accompaniment of drum beats, the “giant dragon” held by the students flew up and down in slow or fast pace with dramatic movements exuding an air of solemnity and magnificence. The dance team of the Confucius Classroom at Ross Sheppard High School presented three graceful dance performances with Chinese characteristics, namely, round fan dance “The Dream Chaser”, colored fan dance “Moon over the Lotus Pond”, and umbrella dance “The Charm of Umbrella”. With beautiful and elegant movements, the performers danced lightly like swallows and briskly like startled magpies, presenting the audiences with a feast for their eyes.

Dragon dance

Dance performance “Moon over the Lotus Pond”

Dance performance “The Charm of Umbrella”

The martial arts performance presented by students of the Confucius Classroom at Ottewell Junior High School (OJHS), swift and graceful, fully demonstrated the exquisiteness of Chinese martial arts with a combination of Kenpo, sword and blade fighting techniques. The guzheng solo “Embroider a Golden Plaque”, performed by graduates from the Chinese-English bilingual program at the OJHS, was melodic and beautiful. The group clapper talk directed and performed by the graduates, which was combined with tongue twister, fully showed the academic results achieved under the Chinese language program in the school, earning unanimous praise from the audiences.

Martial arts

Group clapper talk

Students of Confucius Classroom at M.E Lazerte High School presented the kongzhu play (Chinese yo-yo). Players varied their gestures to play tricks like “chuanshao” (string play), “lungao” (high toss), and “guoqiao” (circle around the stick), winning rounds of applause from the audiences.

Local overseas Chinese musicians also presented their performances, including bamboo flute solos “Busy Horses Deliver the Grain” and “An Anthem”. With refined skills, clear tone and beautiful melodies, they won waves of applause and cheering.

Bamboo flute solo

After the show, Li Wei, Director of CIE, expressed heartfelt gratitude in his speech to people from all walks of life for their support and also his hope that they would support and cooperate with each other as always in the future to make contributions to the friendship between China and Canada.

During the activities, the CIE also set up seven experiential projects, including food tasting, beauty of Chinese characters, Chinese ink painting, handicraft art, sports, traditional Chinese medicine therapy, and Chinese costumes display. Guided by volunteers, local residents tasted Chinese delicious food with great interest, such as wonton, spring roll, and green onion pancake; they experienced Chinese handicrafts, such as dough modelling, Chinese knot, and paper cutting; they tried the “Chinese scholar’s four jewels”, namely, writing brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper, to appreciate the beauty of calligraphy and traditional Chinese painting; they learned about the rules of Chinese chess and showed their skills; they competed with each other on the table tennis table; they waved colorful handkerchiefs on the stage, which were just like gracefully dancing butterflies; they attended the lecture on acupressure and experienced massage, and were amazed at the extensiveness and profoundness of traditional Chinese medicine; they also put on Chinese costumes and took photos in the replica of the “Great Wall” to feel the happiness of being “heroes” when reaching the peak.

Experiencing calligraphy

An exhibition of calligraphy works by Yuan Yun, Vice President of Shanxi Calligraphers Association, was also held. These works covered regular script, running script and cursive script, small delicate painting, vertical hanging scroll, and traditional Chinese couplets. Among the calligraphy works, the square-shaped regular script, bold running script and wild cursive script reflected distinctive personal styles and Yuan Yun’s in-depth pursuit of Chinese calligraphy and traditional culture. The audiences stopped at the exhibition area to appreciate the calligraphy works and asked Yuan Yun to write down some inspiring words for them.

The “Open Day” is one of the events for celebrating the tenth anniversary of the CIE as well as one of strategic programs of Confucius Institutes’ “Bilingual Languages for Win-win Results” brand. These shows, performances, as well as cultural experiences with Chinese characteristics provided local residents with a platform for understanding Confucius Institutes and Chinese culture, and offered opportunities for exchanges between Chinese language, culture and other cultures as well as for the integration of Chinese language and culture into local society, building a bridge of friendship for the exchanges and mutual learning between China and Canada.