The Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona’s Chinese Culture Demonstration Activities are Warmly Welcomed by the Community

February 23, 2015

Recently, to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, the Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona (CIUA) organized several Chinese cultural demonstration activities which were warmly welcomed by local Tucson citizens and overseas Chinese.
The CIUA Chinese cultural demonstration team, which is composed of teachers affiliated with the Confucius Institute, visited the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center (TCCC), where nearly a thousand American and Chinese people witnessed demonstrations of calligraphy, painting, erhu and guzheng performances, as well as presentations of Tai Chi and Chinese New Year customs. Afterward, CIUA was invited to Hollinger Elementary School in the Tucson Unified School District where the team presented a specially designed “sheep” and zodiac themed demonstration for three wonderful Chinese culture classes including both school teachers and students. The language teacher introduced the origins and zodiac Year of the Goat, CIUA’s erhu teacher played Race and Empty Mountain Birds, while our art teacher’s animal painting showed the beauty of traditional Chinese illustration and pen-and-ink line drawing.  CIUA martial artists demonstrated Chinese martial arts including pictographic boxing and Tiger and Crane Double Form Boxing in a warm classroom atmosphere, punctuated by bursts of applause from the audience. The students were particularly enthusiastic, having had such a wonderful opportunity for active involvement with CIUA’s teachers.
On New Year's Day, CIUA participated in the celebration of the Chinese New Year at the invitation of Basis Oro Valley schools at which CIUA presented two rounds of performances and interactive learning experiences for more than 1,200 students and teachers. CIUA teachers performed wonderful guzheng, erhu, and hulusi melodies, while our martial artists attracted many students and piqued their curiosity to learn themselves. A CIUA language teacher sang a sweet Chinese New Year song, followed by a question and answer period about the Chinese Lunar New Year Festival, triggering students to show off their own Chinese oral skills and knowledge.  After the show, the school Principal expressed the sincere desire to establish a Confucius Classroom.
On January 20th, another big New Year Celebration was hold at Tucson Unified School District. CIUA demo team presented Guzheng, Sheng solo and duet; martial arts and Qigong for about 2000 TUSD teachers and students, the audiences were really exciting about the whole demo.
The Sam Hughes Elementary School has a long history and is located near the University of Arizona; it enrolls a large number of Hispanic/Latino and Chinese students. The school’s language teacher invited CIUA teachers to participate in their Spring Festival gathering, so three of our music teachers provided wonderful live performances of Chinese music. One parent happily remarked: “I did not expect we could hear such touching music here, and enjoy such a high level of performance. We thank the Confucius Institute teachers for their performances which gave our children such a wonderful opportunity to experience Chinese culture.”
The Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona Chinese Culture Demonstration Project has become a locally acknowledged means by which Chinese culture can be spread, attracting local communities, school districts, individual schools and other groups. Through this work, the Confucius Institute has expanded its local influence while playing an exemplary role in the promotion of Confucius Classrooms.