On the occasion of the celebration of “Confucius Institute Day” across the globe, the Confucius Institute at University of Mauritius (CI-UoM) held a seminar on the 29th September 2017 on the campus. The Mauritian and Chinese Directors of Confucius Institute at UoM jointly hosted the seminar which was open to the public. It was well attended with an audience of over one hundred.
The Mauritian Director, Associate Professor Naraindra Kistamah spoke of the role of Confucius Institute in the world and by extension, the role of CI-UoM in promoting, in particular, tertiary educational exchanges with China. He also said that one of the main missions of Confucius Institute at UoM is to make the campus mandarin friendly and disseminate Chinese culture so that exchanges with Chinese universities may be facilitated. Confucius Institute at UoM will do what is best to improve the relationship between Mauritius and China.
The Chinese Director, Associate Professor Tan Xudong, elaborated Confucian doctrine explicitly. There are two main concepts in Confucian Thought: Ren and Li. These two concepts concern mainly the “general love for people” and “the harmonious society”.
On 30th September 2017, students of CI-UoM took part in a Chinese food making activity as part of the celebration of Confucius Institute Day. The activity was led by the Chinese Director of CI-UoM who turned into a Chinese Chef for the day! Mr Tan Xudong demonstrated to the students the process of making dumplings and told them the origin of the custom.
It all began with Zhang Zhongjing who lived during the Eastern Han Dynasty 1800 years ago. It is reported that Zhang noticed that many people's ears were frostbitten during winter. He decided to wrap mutton, chili and some medicinal herbs in dough skin and folded them into the shape of an ear, which he boiled in water before giving them to the poor. It is now believed that all the materials used in Zhang's recipe could help warm the body, promote the blood flow and then thaw the cold ears. Today, Jiaozi (dumpling) is very popular in most parts of northern China for its great taste, especially during Spring Festival.
The students and guests thoroughly enjoyed the experience of making and eating the ‘home-made’ dumplings and they all look forward to more of such event.