Confucius Institute turns 10

Updated: 2014-09-29 12:08

By Liu Chang in Washington(China Daily USA)

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Confucius Institute turns 10

The lion dance opened the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the global Confucius Institutes at the University of Maryland last Friday at the Hornbake plaza at the University of Maryland.  Liu Chang / China Daily

A lion dance and dragon dance started the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the global Confucius Institutes at the University of Maryland, as the Confucius Institute held the Chinese Language and Culture Festival last Friday in front of the Hornbake Library in the College Park campus.

The loud uproar from a crowd of visitors and the exhilarating opening lion dance filled the Hornbake Plaza of the campus with excitement. The Confucius Institute director and dean of the College of Education Donna Wiseman joked the "fun, and maybe a little crazy way" introduced the celebration festival.

A Shaolin kungfu demonstration, Taiji show, Chinese opera of Huangmei, martial arts, folk Chinese dance and classic solo performances wowed the audience and earned waves of applause. The festival was also joined by American kids who demonstrated their achievements in learning Chinese.

As the nation's first Confucius Institute, Wallace Loh, president of the University of Maryland was very proud. "This is happy birthday for Confucius Institute," he exclaimed and invited all the visitors to sing the happy birthday song spontaneously.

According to Loh, 100 Confucius Institutes and more than 350 Confucius classes have been established in the US. And 850,000 people worldwide have registered in the classes or institutes.

On the festival day, scores of college students from Xiamen University performed for the festival. The students performed on a tour along the east coast of the country to represent the Hanban, the executive body of the Chinese Language Council International, a non-governmental and non-profit organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education of China.

Xinli Zhan, vice-president of Xiamen University said the university has done a great deal of work to promote Chinese language and culture learning. The university has established close ties with 15 universities in the US.

"The Confucius Institute provides a good platform for us to carry on academic and cultural exchange with universities overseas. Our professors and students have cooperated with our partner universities on research, cultural activities, and international conferences," Zhan said. "Not only does the Confucius Institute form a channel of cultural communication, it also provides a mutual learning opportunity in every aspect."

(China Daily USA 09/29/2014 page3)