written by Chelly Curry
I had an opportunity to attend the first Chinese Corner Event of the school year. The staff of the Confucius Institute invited a gentleman by the name of Dr. Yin Hubin, from Beijing, to come and educate interested students in some Chinese religions. The really cool part about this presentation is that it had connections with the President’s Interfaith Challenge Project that the school has cooperatively taken on. The many students who made an effort to attend this event displayed curiosity in the cultures and religions reported.
Chinese Corner is a very popular thing here on PC’s campus. The idea of the Chinese Corner comes from the staff and international students of the Confucius Institute. You see, PC has a sister partnerships with Ghuizhou University in China. One of the aspects of this relationship is a faculty and student exchange which brings Chinese professors and students here to PC. The Chinese Corner is a to way broaden PC students’ horizons and educated the average American student about China’s way of life. Not only are the events informational, they are full of entertainment that will help students with little or no knowledge about Chinese culture become eager to learn more and more.
In Dr. Hubin’s presentation, he touched on a few main points that left everyone in attendance a little smarter than what they were when they walked in. Dr. Hubin explained the cults of female deities in the peasant society and its own typological feature. He clarified that religion, in terms of the cult, or in more precise terms, is a set of practices combining elements of rituals as well as myths. The natural gods evolved into personal cults. He focused his justifications on the regional cults of Houtu, the areas surrounding Hongya Mountain. The Houtu deity was regarded as the highest goddess. They based their folk religion on the goddess, Laomu, the venerable mother of Chinese folk belief. Eventually some of the Chinese were exposed to the Catholic traditions and by 1870 some families converted from the common religion to Catholicism. The tension between Catholics and other villages began to occur in 1890 and continues to be an issue in some villages to this day
So what connection does the Chinese Corner have with the President’s Challenge? Well simple! The President’s Challenge is all about the advancement of our inner knowledge. In tribute to the disasters of 9/11 the White House developed a plan to have colleges educate students on different cultures to avoid the ignorance of different ways of life and possible terrorism. What better way to get everyone involved then to incorporate the ENVIRONMENT!!!! So here’s the plan, each month the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life will have a speaker come and talk about the common misconceptions of their religion. To go along with that the GreenHose program invites everyone to help make this campus more sustainable. This challenge will go on throughout the whole year, in hopes of seeing a measurable change in PC’s community. Different events will appear in Hal Milam’s emails—-so pay attention and get involved with things that really matter.