On Sept. 24th, the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center (TCCC) was busy and full of life. The 5th Chinese Language and Culture Day and Global Confucius Institute Day was held by Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona (CIUA). Chinese Cultural Festival attracted thousands of teachers, students, parents and people from around the community who were interested in Chinese language and culture.
CIUA had prepared a delicious cultural feast for all the guests: there was a Chinese Drama & Quiz Competition and a Talent Show on the main stage. Meanwhile, lots of other Chinese cultural activities were scattered along the sub-venues, such as learning how to dance, to paint, to make crafts, to learn Martial Arts, to play the traditional Chinese games, to learn traditional Chinese music instruments and so on. The Chinese reading corner and the Chinese Culture Screening Room were specially set for the kids this year. Along with the exhibition of Chinese folk culture and Chinese medicine, each place attracted many visitors to stop and participate.
Early in the morning, Purple Bamboo Ensemble played the welcome song to celebrate all the guests. At 9:50 am, the opening ceremony of the Cultural Festival was officially began on the main stage. Mr. Peter Chan, President Elite of the Tucson Chinese Association, and Prof. Chen Zhao, Director of CIUA, both gave welcome speeches. After the short speeches, the Chinese Drama & Quiz Competition kicked off.
More than 60 students from 13 different primary and secondary schools in Tucson participated in the competition. By noon, the audience gathered more and more. Teachers and students, parents and community residents alike were taking pictures, cheering on the students, and swaying with the music. At the end of each performance, the contestants also needed to answer a set of Chinese language and cultural questions, ranging from who Qin Shi Huang was, to the Silk Road, to the Chinese festivals and food.
In the afternoon, there was a relaxing and happy Chinese cultural talent show on the main stage, which provided a platform for the Chinese learners to show off their talents. Among the 16 programs, there were nearly 400 performers and about a thousand people came to watch.
At the same time as the talents show, the sub-venues were also holding a variety of Chinese cultural experience activities. "Learn Chinese Folk Music Instruments with Me" attracted many folk fans to consult and try. "Make crafts with Me" allowed people to experience the joy of the tie-dying, face painting, and paper lanterns. The children were so eager to show off their painting to their parents after they joined the “Paint with Me” activity. Chinese Traditional Games such as diablo, kicking shuttlecock and tug-of-war attracted a large number of visitors to participate in. Volunteers were patient to answer questions from visitors. The Chinese reading corner and the Chinese Culture Screening Room also attracted a large number of visitors. An American boy pointed to the Chinese Character "love" and told his parents “this is Chinese for love”. After the CIUA martial arts teachers’ wonderful performance, many guests took the initiative to follow the teacher to learn martial arts moves together.
As it came to an end, in the warm atmosphere, Professor Chen Zhao and Professor Zhao Wei presented the prizes to the award-winning teachers and students. The award-winning children were beyond excited while their parents and teachers were proud and moved of their accomplishments. Students participating in the competition took pictures with their parents and teachers.
The Chinese Language and Culture Day of CIUA has become the main event of Tucson's Chinese education and a platform for experiencing Chinese culture. It is a driving force for local Chinese teaching and plays an important role in promoting Sino-US cultural exchanges and friendship. The event is also the best gift for the 12th anniversary of the Confucius Institute.