One of our main goals at the Confucius Institute is to bridge the gap and enhance the mutual understanding between China and US. To realize this goal, we strive to bring the most entertaining, most fascinating aspects of the Chinese culture to the American audience. On the evening of Friday, March 3, our hosts at the Division of Modern Language and Literature of Bob Jones University in Greenville and their students were kind and gracious enough to provide us the faculty members of PCCI with another opportunity to share what we love about Chinese culture.
To start off the evening, Division Chair Dr. Jeremy Patterson addressed the audience by emphasizing that the effort to understand a culture should go beyond just learning the language and also include experiencing the various aspects of it. As the organizer of this evening, Dr. Ying Leach, the professor of Chinese at Bob Jones, extended her gratitude and welcome to the visitors.
Our Deputy Director, Professor Yin Pan, introduced Guizhou University, PC’s partner institution in China, as well as Guizhou province to the audience by showing a mesmerizing video. The introduction was followed by Yi Hua’s guzheng performance. A veteran guzheng artist, Yi entertained the crowd with two traditional Chinese tunes — “The Dance of the Yi” and “Bamboo Melody”. As the finale of the performance, Yi also directed a Chinese ethnic wear fashion show that featured Bob Jones students as models along with the young children of Dr. Leach.
Dr. Taiwei Wang, a Chinese language and literature professor, recited and sang the well-known poem Guan Ju, the first to be included in the ancient poem anthology, Shi Jing (or, The Book of Poetry). His wife, Yujuan Zhai, performed the graceful Chinese tea art and served the audience the tea that she had made through the elaborate procedures.
Yanhua Xu, our calligrapher, briefed the audience on the evolution and writing styles of Chinese characters, after which she demonstrated the art of writing Chinese with brush and ink. As soon as she finished her demonstration, she was crowded around by the students who had her write their names in calligraphy.
We were no less lucky by joining in a prayer led by Dr. Patterson and having the Bob Jones University faculty and students in the audience sing us a Chinese hymn.