CIUA Chinese Culture Demonstration at Tucson Local Schools and Businesses

    Between October 10 and October 22, the Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona Chinese Culture Demonstration Team based on enthusiastic invitations from local Tucson schools, and Chinese teachers successfully presented four Chinese cultural perfor-mances ( or “Culture Demo”), which is also an annual event for some schools. They are BASIS Tucson North School, Catalina Foothills high school, International School of Tucson and Accelerated Learning Laboratory, which is a newly established Confucius classroom that is affiliated with CIUA. The CIUA Culture Demonstration Team members include Dr. Larry Lang, Ms. Yi Chen, martial arts and tai chi teachers Mr. Jun Ming Zhao and Mr. Yue Zhang, Chinese teachers Ms. Ying Yuan and Ms. Qiuhong Zhang, and Chinese traditional medi-cine teacher Mr. Jiaying Fan. The programs included Chinese martial arts and tai chi performances; Chinese folk instruments like the zither, Hulusi, flute and others; Chinese folk songs and kids’ songs, and a general introduction to traditional Chinese medicine.

    As of October 24, the CIUA received a total of 565 questionnaires; the statistical results of which indicate that 91% of students like Asia or the Confucius Institute Chinese cultural demonstration very much, 7% of students responded ”OK”, while only 2% of students claimed to not like the program. In addition, the questionnaire also revealed students’ preferences among Chinese culture subjects, such as, 42% of students enjoy Chinese martial arts, 20% of students like Chinese folk music and instruments, 16% of students like Chinese language and songs, and 11% of students like Tai Chi and traditional Chinese medicine.

Martial Arts at CFHS

Music at Texas Instrument

Chinese Medicine at CFHS

Music at BASIS Tucson North School

    According to feedback received from Tucson primary and secondary school Chinese teachers, the regular Chinese cultural demonstra-tion greatly improved the students’ interest in Chinese culture and learning Chinese, while promoting the Confucius Institute within local schools and school districts, which eventually won the support of both students and parents. Some of the parents and students strongly urged their school to offer elective Chinese music and Chinese martial arts courses or organize after-school clubs, to meet their Chinese language and Chinese culture needs and desires. School representatives and Chinese teachers also sent thank you letters and cards to CIUA, saying that they all had a wonderful time, and expressing their sincere appreciation. The CIUA Chinese cultural demonstration is like a Chinese cultural feast to most of the students who had never been to China themselves.