Events - 2019
On 8th May 2019, Confucius Institute at University of Mauritius was invited by the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, as part of the Training Programme on Chinese Language and Culture, to deliver a presentation on ‘Tea and its importance in Chinese Culture’.
Naraindra Kistamah, Mauritian Director and Tan Xudong, Chinese Director attended and hosted the event, with teachers and students from Confucius Institute. Associate Professor Kistamah talked about how tea is linked to the daily lives of Chinese people. There are special circumstances in which tea is prepared and consumed in Chinese culture. It may be to show respect and hospitality, as a sign of respect and to show gratitude or celebrate an event such as a marriage. The history of tea may reveal a lot about Chinese culture.
Associate Professor Tan delivered a presentation about Chinese tea. He started with the origin of tea in China, and went on talking about the etiquette and habits people developed when they serve or consume tea. Mr Tan elaborated on the characteristics of five main types of tea in China.
The talk was followed by a demonstration about the art of serving and drinking tea by Chinese volunteer teacher, Ms He Jiahuan (Maggie). The audience participated in the tea drinking sessions and they could appreciate the distinct flavours and characters of the different tea being served. ‘Light finger tapping is an informal way to thank the tea master or tea server for tea. While or after one's cup is filled, the receiver of the tea may tap the index and middle fingers to express gratitude to the person who served the tea.’
Plate 1. Mauritian Director of CI-UoM talking to the audience about tea; tea being one of the greatest discoveries of Ancient China and which still lives today to be an integral part of Chinese Culture.
On 9th February 2019, Confucius Institute at University of Mauritius celebrated the Chinese New Year. The representatives from Zhejiang TV, China, Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the students from Chinese School of Mauritius and CI-UoM attended the event.
Associate Professor, Tan Xudong, Chinese Director of CI delivered a welcome speech and wished everybody present a healthy, wealthy and prosperous year of the Pig. He said that during the period of celebration of the Chinese New Year, every member of the family gets together, and today all the members of CI family are present to celebrate the Chinese New Year and that, in spite of the cyclonic weather. This is a fine symbol of dedication to and love of what you do!
CI-UoM students presented their performances; Chinese song ‘Good Fortune’ sung by Mauritian Chinese and the song was about New Year’s bringing good fortune to everybody and CI-UoM; two lovely kids from China recited the poem ‘The Long March’ written by former leader of China, Mao Zedong, and Mr. Wang Shuai from Zhejiang TV, China presented a typical Chinese crosstalk entitled ‘The Elder is always right’; the most moving performance was the recitation of a poem written by CI teacher, Ms. Zhang Yeping. In the poem, it is said that the ‘Mandarin teachers leave their home and fly to Mauritius to work as Mandarin teachers. During the two years of work, they experienced different types of life at the other end of the globe. After the teachers ‘see’ and ‘taste’ the friendship from Mauritian people and when they finish their term as Mandarin teachers and leave for China, Mauritius has become their second home.’ Other CI-UoM students sang and recited poems on the occasion of the celebration.
The Mauritian Director of CI-UoM thanked all the teachers for the preparatory works, the wonderful performance on the day and the fantastic team spirit. He also thanked all the participants and the audience for their presence.
On 3rd February 2019, the Directors, teachers and students of CI-UoM participated in a parade for the celebration of the Chinese New Year in Port Louis, Capital City of Mauritius.
The parade was organized by the Embassy of Peoples’ Republic of China, the Cultural Center of China, Chinese communities/clubs of Mauritius in collaboration with the Municipality Council of Port-Louis. In his speech, the Mayor of Port Louis congratulated the organizers for this laudable initiative which brought a lot of colours to the city, wished the Chinese community and the residents of Port Louis a Happy New Year. The vice-president of Mauritius, the Ambassador of the Embassy of Peoples’ Republic of China and the Director of Chinese Cultural Centre were present for the parade.
The parade started in front of the City Council of Port-Louis and the participants from various cultural and educational groups walked down along ‘Intendance Street’ before turning left onto ‘Royal Road’ to China Town. The presence of delegates from Confucius Institute at UoM in the parade is new to the street audience and it attracted attention. The teachers and students took the opportunity to present Confucius Institute and its activities, all of which means that CI at UoM not only concentrates on Mandarin teaching and cultural exchanges, but also takes part in public event for recognition by a wider audience.
Plate 2. The parade was very colourful with people dressed in different costumes, and carrying flags, lanterns and balloons
On 12th January 2019, a Chinese painting course started at the University of Mauritius. Mr Tan Xudong, Chinese Director of Confucius Institute at the University of Mauritius, welcomed all the participants for the opening of the course and said that the students not only learn the skill of Chinese painting, but also know more about the Chinese culture underlying the painting. Chinese painting is believed to be one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world.
Mr. Zhang Kangfu, Professor in Chinese painting, is from Zhejiang Sci-Tech University (ZSTU). He started the first session of the course by explaining how Chinese painting is linked to the traditional culture of China. Professor Zhang described the long history of Chinese painting and aroused the students’ interest with intricate details of this art form.
Traditional Chinese painting is known as ‘guóhuà’ meaning "national" or "native painting". It is done with a brush dipped in black ink or coloured pigments and as with calligraphy, the paintings are usually made on paper and/or silk. The finished work can be mounted on scrolls, such as hanging scrolls.
The first part of the Chinese painting course is a basic one. A more advanced course is on schedule as soon as the students master the basic skill of Chinese painting.