Confucius Institute in Madrid Hosts 2019 “Confucius Institute Day”

[Source]    Confucius Institute in Madrid, Spain [Time]    2019-10-15 17:03:21 

On September 21st, local time, the Confucius Institute in Madrid, Spain hosted the “Confucius Institute Day”. José Pazo Espinosa, Special Envoy of the Rector of Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), Carmela Cales, Vice-Rector of UAM, Luis Vaquerizo, Director of the IES Beatriz Galindo, Yao Fei, Minister Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Spain, Liu Wenqiu, Cultural Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Spain, Pang Weibo, Chairman of Chongqing Performance Arts Group, Yao Yongbin, Head of the China Cultural Center in Madrid, He Shihua, Project Director, Zhang Xiaoyi, President of China Club (Spain), Zhang Liping, Chairman of Madrid Huaxing Arts Group, and other guests attended the event.

This event is informative and full of variety, through which all participants can have colorful experiences. It mainly included five parts: cultural experience activities, protocol and opening ceremony, book promotion campaign, award ceremony, and Chinese art show.

The event

The cultural experience activities include sugar painting, dough sculpting, paper cutting, Chinese calligraphy and tea-making performance with long-spout teapot. Most of the performers are non-heritage artists from Chongqing, China. Through the inheritance and development over the past generations, they have acquired superb skills and formed their own unique points of view on China’s non-heritage culture. The local Spanish people and overseas Chinese in Spain visited different exhibition areas and enjoyed the explanation by volunteer teachers who also served as interpreters. Such an arrangement can be helpful forboosting smooth communication between participants and artists and enhancing interaction.

Yao Fei and Carmela Cales appreciating calligraphy and painting

At the booth of sugar painting, the craftsman was focusing on making different shapes such as butterflies, roosters, dragons, and people wearing glasses. This craft is a traditional folk art that enjoys great popularity among Chinese since various shapes can be made, let alone its sweet and delicious tastefavored by children. After taking a bite of it, they all let out sighs of praise: “Yummy!”

Sugar painting

As for the dough sculpting booth, it displayed figurines carefully carved out by the craftsman such as birds, pandas, dragons, and Pikachu. At the same time, the craftsman also shared the materials for making dough figurine with the children eager for a try, and patiently instructed them how to knead the round dough with both hands. The children sculpted the dough with attention and asked the craftsman with a shy smile: “Am I doing this right?”

Liu Wenqiu visiting the exhibition stand of dough figurine

In the paper-cutting booth, not only sophisticated paper-cuttings but also circular fans with paper-cutting elements were presented. The visitors got a chance to cut out exquisite butterfly patterns with scissors under the guidance of the instructor.

The long-spout teapot is a unique tea set in China. It not only features the function of tea making of traditional teapots but also serves as an entertainment through the complicated and varied actions shown by tea art performers. Each move of the performeron site revealed great flexibility and superior difficulty, leaving the audience in awe with countless applause. Two lovely children also joined in for a try. They stood aside, picked up the cup one after the other andthen poured the water from the long-spouted teapot into the cup without any leakage after the performer finished his show, drawing rounds of applause from the crowd.

Tea-making performance with long-spout teapot

At the opening ceremony, Spanish photographer Laura Carrascosa and Chinese artist Xiao Xirou made their presence with their co-published photo album Como la casa mía. The two introduced to the audience their inspiration, process of production and the message they wanted to convey. Later, a short film showing a young Chinese woman living alone in Spain was played, whichwas all about the heroine’s self-exploration, thinking of being, attachment to hometown and understanding of reality.

The guests and audience present praised the two authors and believed that this film can help Spanish people better understand the life of overseas Chinese in Spainand delve deep into their inner world. The experiences of living alone in aforeign country and the nostalgia for the homeland presented in the film stroke a chord with the Chinese audienceon site. Carmela Cales also said that she enjoyed the book promotion campaign very much and hoped to invite the two authors to give lectures at UAM.

Later, Gladys Nieto, Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute in Madrid, and the distinguished guestsat the scene jointly awarded scholarships to the outstanding students of the Confucius Institute for the 2018-2019 academic year.

In the expectant eyes of the audience, the Chinese art show kicked off. Artists from the National Orchestra, Chinese Folk Art Troupe and Beijing Opera Troupe of Chongqing presented high-quality performances to the Spanish audience. To begin with, folk songs “Silk Road” and “Moon Represents My Heart” revealed the charm of traditional Chinese music. Then came the dance “A Waving Hand”, which depicted a vivid picture of Tujia customs. The Peking Opera performance “Petal Sprinkles from Heaven” and Sichuan opera masterpiece “Face Changing” let the audience appreciate the characteristics of traditional Chinese opera. In the end, the folk music play “Spanish Bullfight" integrating Chinese and western music elements drew a round of warm applause from the audience.

Art show

This showreceived unanimous praise. The performers’ singing with rich emotions, their gorgeous and graceful dancing, and the ethnic costumes and musical instruments with elements oftraditional Chinese culture all made the guests present sing high praise. It was the last stop of the “2019 Chongqing Culture and Tourism Week” tour sponsored by Chongqing Municipal Commission of Culture Tourism Development. Some artists expressed that Confucius Institute in Madrid was considerate in organizing this event, whichmade them feel respected and they were in a perfect stateduring their performance.

Group photo

The “Confucius Institute Day” held by Confucius Institute in Madrid has drawn widespread attention from Spanish people. Through rich and colorful cultural experience activities, they have more opportunities to know about China and its magnificent and colorful traditional culture and embrace the charm of China in the shocks of cultural diversity.

Story by Zhang Xiwen