Chinese Cultural Day at Wares Ferry School
At the invitation from Mr. Edward Drozdowski, Principal of Wares Ferry Road Elementary School, the Auburn University at Montgomery Confucius Institute participated in the school’s first Multicultural Festival on April 26, 2013.
In the morning, the AUM dragon dance group students and staff were warmly welcomed by Principal Drozdowski at the door. After an announcement that the dragon was approaching the school, over 450 students, teachers and parents hurried outside to watch the Dragon Dance performed by AUM students.
Following the performance of the Dragon Dance, Chinese teachers from the AUM Confucius Institute taught lessons of simple Chinese words, Chinese paper cutting, and many other arts and crafts. The students played games including shuttlecock, and learned handkerchief dance.
In the afternoon, Confucius Institute presented Tai Chi and an ancient Chinese costume show. The students could not help dancing and clapping hands when the Chinese folk music was played.
Confucius Institute also brought many Chinese crafts, ink paintings, and Chinese tea, to exhibit throughout the day. The students were excited to learn so many new and different things at one time. Principal Drozdowski appreciated AUM’s Confucius Institute for their contribution to the success of the school’s Multicultural Week. “We are looking forward to more collaborations in the Fall,” said Principal Drozdowski.
Chinese History Lecture
On April 25, 2013, the AUM Confucius Institute sponsored a public lecture on Chinese history. Dr. Qiang Zhai, dean of the Confucius Institute and professor of history, spoke on the topic of “The Rape of Nanjing: Japan’s Hidden Crime during WWII.” The room, which can hold 120 students, was packed. The lecture was organized as part of AUM’s annual “Diversity Week”, designed to enhance campus awareness of multiculturalism. It represented the AUM Confucius Institute’s effort to raise its profile on campus and to integrate into the university.
Dr. Zhai used newly discovered historical photos and evidence to describe what happened in Nanjing when Japanese troops occupied the city in December 1937. He explained why the Japanese massacre in Nanjing remained little-noticed in the West from the 1950s to the 1970s. He concluded his talk by discussing how historical memory is entangled with politics in contemporary China. After his presentation, Dr. Zhai answered questions from faculty and students.
Chinese Tea Ceremony
On April 23, the AUM Confucius Institute and the office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs jointly sponsored an introduction to Confucius Institute in Goodwyn Hall 109. After Chief Diversity Officer Mr. Timothy Spraggins made a brief introductory remark, Deputy Dean Hong Wang gave a presentation about the history, vision and mission of the Confucius Institute. Dean Dr. Qiang Zhai made a speech about the importance of the establishment of the Confucius Institute and introduced the office staff. Their speeches helped the listeners develop a better understanding of Confucius Institute.
After that, an exquisite tea ceremony was given by visiting scholar Yingdong Li. Audiences all went up to the stage and watched carefully each step of tea making. They tasted the green tea and woolong tea in the end. Some of them were so impressed that they wanted to have private tutoring from Ms. Li on how to make tea! “Well, this will not be free for me to tutor! Confucius Institute charges no money,” joked Ms. Li.
Woodley Road Head Start Visit, March 21
At the invitation of Woodley Road Head Start, Dean Hong Wang
and Dr. Sheila Austin
, along with a group of Chinese language teachers and volunteers, visited Woodley Road Head Start and surprised the kids with a special program of 45-minute Chinese lessons and a 45-minute cultural performance.
Chinese language teacher Ms. Ye, sent by Hanban, and other five certified Chinese teachers, taught six classes how to say simple words in Chinese, as well as a simple demonstration of making a paper panda. After the Chinese lesson, all students gathered together in a big hall and enjoyed another 45-minute performance show. The show consisted of Chinese instruments (Pipa and Hulusi), a costume show, traditional Chinese games for kids, Taiji, Beijing Opera mask demonstration and others.
There were lots of active interactions between the students and the performers. The students stared at the clothes and instruments that they had never seen before. They eagerly wanted to participate in the games the volunteers were teaching. This was definitely an educational and meaningful experience for all of them. When the visitors were ready to go, the students were waving and saying “Zai Jian” and “Xie Xie” to the visitors. This marked the first time that AUM Confucius Institute offered CI activities in pre-school education.
In the News:
AUM Confucius Institute offers lessons on Chinese language and Culture to Montgomery Elementary Students
Link to the full story: http://blog.al.com/montgomery/2013/03/aum_confucius_institute_offers.html
Chinese Culture Experience Event for Dallas County Students
From February 4 to 6, 2013, the Confucius Institute at Auburn Montgomery held a Chinese culture experience event for the school children of Dallas County. This gifted program was also supported by the AUM School of Education.
During the past week, “China” became the most popular topic among these school children and they were very excited about Chinese culture such as Chinese paper cutting and paper folding.
Students learned the story of “The Great Wall” through the paper-cutting, and they tried to cut out a Chinese character "囍 " which means “double happiness” by themselves. In the AUM classroom they had their first experience with Chinese calligraphy--- they smelled calligraphy ink, and touched calligraphy brushes, and even wrote some Chinese words. Many students showed curiosity in what Chinese students do during the breaks between classes. After being showed some games that are played by the students of the same age in China, one student said: “I think Chinese students are very clever and "毽子"（Chinese shuttlecock）is very interesting.”
Confucius Garden Dedication
To commemorate the establishment of the Confucius Institute at AUM, a Confucius Garden on campus will be dedicated. Please stay tuned for the announcement of the date. Below are the designs for the garden.