Showcasing traditional Chinese culture at the “Oro Valley Meet Yourself” festival

March 21, 2015

On the morning of March 21, 2015 six teachers from the Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona brought a wonderful Chinese cultural show to suburban Tucson residents at the Valley Marketplace on the invitation of the organizers of the "Oro Valley Meet Yourself" festival. The show consisted of several components: a demonstration of traditional Chinese musical instruments, a martial arts performance, and table tennis, calligraphy and painting exhibitions. The whole Chinese cultural show was warmly received by the Tucson community.  

Oro Valley is a satellite city of Tucson, with a beautiful natural environment and comfortable climate; many schools in the municipality offer Chinese instruction. "Oro Valley Meet Yourself" is a two-day event that includes a wide variety of participating organizations and groups that total nearly two thousand people and influences a broad spectrum of the greater Tucson community.

    In the first part of the Chinese cultural show, CIUA guzheng musician Ms. Jing Xia performed two solos, "Dawn Fog" and "Dance of the Yi Minority," her zither’s tones deep, soft, bright and crisp; sometimes like a flowing mountain spring, and sometimes like a tree with a touch of orchids. Some members of the audience even closed their eyes to listen quietly. Next, CIUA erhu musician Mr. Maoxun Ma played the solo pieces, "Shadow Figures" and "War Horse Gallop." This music is true representation of Tangshan shadow puppetry performances evoking the spectacular scene of a group horses in the grasslands. Many in the audience could not help but mimic the horse's movements along with Maestro Ma’s music. The final component of first part of the show was Chinese martial arts master Mr. Peifeng Jiang’s presentation of “Tai Chi Fist" and "Dharma Sword."  Audience members were equally impressed by the quiet and elegant, soft and firm aspects of Tai chi and the powerful and sharp staccato of the Dharma sword actions.  Some audience members availed themselves of the opportunity to join Master Jiang on stage to personally experience a bit of the mysterious martial arts of China.

In the second part of the cultural show, CIUA Program Manager and ping-pong aficionado Dr. Larry Lang taught table tennis techniques and invited attendees to experience the charm of this Chinese national sport. Ms. Qiuhong Zhang demonstrated Chinese calligraphic art, writing the names of audience members for them to take home as treasured keepsakes.  Ms. Dandan Chang demonstrated traditional Chinese painting techniques and her vivid works elicited responses of “Amazing!” from witnesses.  Some of the children in attendance also had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in Chinese painting under Ms. Chang’s guidance.

The wonderful program of this rich cultural show beautifully showcased traditional Chinese culture. Since this was the first time that Chinese elements had been incorporated into the “Oro Valley Meet Yourself” event, it attracted the attention of many people. This is an auspicious beginning for the promotion of Chinese culture in Oro Valley.