IN light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese New Year (CNY) a.k.a Spring Festival is celebrated differently this year.
To keep the festive spirit alive, the Confucius Institute at SEGi University together with Shandong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, China organised an online CNY event themed Confucius’ Hometown, Shandong’s Hospitality.
Held on Feb 8 and 9, the event which attracted an audience of almost 200 people aimed to shed light on the culture and hospitality from Confucius’ hometown, the Shandong Province in China.
To re-cap, Confucius was a notable Chinese philosopher who is known to champion the importance of education. He also established ethical, moral, and social standards that formed the basis of a way of life known as Confucianism.
Present at the event was China Embassy’s cultural counsellor Zhang Zhen, SEGi University’s deputy vice chancellor Norman Chu, the university’s Confucius Institute local director and Faculty of Education dean (languages and psychology) Dr Lydia Foong, and Chinese director of the Confucius Institute Dr An Fu Yong.
In his speech, Zhang expressed his enthusiasm and encouraged the active participation of cultural exchange between China and Malaysia.
“SEGi University is very pleased to support the Confucius Institute efforts in promoting cultural exchange between Malaysia and China,” deputy vice chancellor Chu pointed out.
“The CNY celebration is a good platform to bring people together for this purpose. Although we cannot physically celebrate CNY together this year, I am very happy to see that the festive spirit is kept alive with online activities such as this event.”
In line with its theme, the event started off with a presentation on the CNY customs in Shandong by Confucius Institute’s Dr An.
Following this, the institute’s lecturer Zheng Chuqiu showcased Shandong’s culture, food, and attractions to the participants. To make it more interactive for the participants, Zheng further showcased the unique charm of the Qilu culture via a video.
The Confucius Institute also invited a famous calligrapher, Huang Chengli from Hainan Normal University, to demonstrate and to give a short tutorial on writing customary Chinese couplets related to the Spring Festivals.
The calligraphy activity saw many participants eagerly trying out their skills. The Malaysian and Chinese children and teenagers exchanged passionately their New Year customs in the question & answer (Q&A) session which deepened the intercultural understanding. – Feb 18, 2021