A Chinese national flag, a map of China, Chinese knots, Chinese couplets, Chinese characters of Fú (Fortune), Chinese paper-cuts, Chinese zodiac animals, shuttlecocks, a panda doll, and the like properly placed—such were the settings of the classrooms where the CIVU staff offered Introduction to Chinese Culture at Valparaiso Public Library (June 13), Crown Point Community Library (June 27) and Portage High School (July 5 and 8), which altogether attracted more than 100 kids and parents.
At each of these presentations, Professor Liu Jiangang, Associate Director of the CIVU, intrigued the audience with pictures and stories about the Great Wall, the Palace Museum, the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, and so on. His introduction about Confucius, the Four Great Inventions of ancient China, traditional Chinese festivals and holidays, and today’s China were equally welcomed by the kids as well as the adults.
At the VPL Introduction, one little girl was so impressed by the story about the Dragon Boat Festival and Qu Yuan (340—278 BC), the patriotic poet and statesman of the Chu State during the Warring States period (475—221 BC), that she shed tears, asking why he drowned himself in the river. Her Mom had to comfort her by saying that he did it for something good anyway.
Following Liu Jiangang’s presentation, CIVU teachers, Ms. He Jun, Ms. Ming Liang and Ms. Zhang Rong, introduced to the audience the symbolic meanings of red culour in Chinese culture and the 12 Chinese zodiac animals, taught them a Chinese song and showed them how to do paper-cutting and play jiànzi (shuttlecock), which brought each of these events to a climax.
Mrs. Jenna Kosky, Youth Services Assistant of Valparaiso Public Library wrote: “We are so appreciative of all you put into the program. The participants had a great time… asking questions and wanting more information. I know they also enjoyed having the chance to make paper cuttings and learn numbers. It was very successful and we are so happy the CIVU was willing to plan and put on this event. ”
(Text by Liu Jiangang, photos by He Jun, Ming Liang and Zhang Rong, CIVU)
01 Introducing Chinese culture
02 Introducing red culour in Chinese culture
03 Learning numbers in Chinese
04 Mon and daughters showing their works
05 Thank you
06 Where is China
07 Learing papercutting
08 My papercuttings
09 Introducing Chinese zodiac animals