The 3rd UCD Festival kicked off on 9 June. Political Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Ireland Ms Yang Hua, Director of UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland (CII) Prof Liming Wang, Chinese Director of CII Mr Wei Zhang attended the Festival, accompanied by over 10 representatives from the technology, consulate, culture and education sections of the Chinese Embassy in Ireland.
This annual event was divided into 8 zones and 90 activities encompassing culture, arts, music and much more. The culture section proved highly popular, and the many cultural activities hosted by UCD CII were a highlight of the festival. These activities included tea ceremony, calligraphy, paper cutting, Chinese chess, gu zheng (an ancient Chinese musical instrument), Chinese knotting, etc.
Sipping Chinese tea with the calming music of gu zheng brought a unique experience of the ancient China’s beauty and glory. Audience enjoyed the tea ceremony as they sampled different types of Chinese tea and listened to stories about tea.
Chinese paper cutting and Chinese knotting also attracted much attention. Simply equipped with a pair of scissors and a red sheet, visitors tried their hands at cutting out Chinese characters for spring, happiness and special designs of dogs for the year of the dog. With the help of the CII staff, they created their own paper cutting arts and learned the auspicious meanings of these Chinese characters. Children learned how to turn some colourful strings into beautiful decorations or bracelets. They all walked away happily with their Chinese knot style bracelets.
At the calligraphy desk visitors gained a first-hand understanding of the profoundness of Chinese characters. They learned how to hold a brush, dip it into ink, start a stroke and complete the writing of a Chinese character. Regardless of their ages, people liked the giant panda drawing so much that they picked up a brush and tried their hands at writing Chinese characters and drawing giant pandas with ink. This hands-on experience promoted a better understanding of the uniqueness and charm of Chinese calligraphy brush, inkstick, paper and ink stone.
Unlike the hustle and bustle of other activities, the Chinese chess area was much quieter as visitors enjoyed a game of chess. Most of them had no previous knowledge of Chinese characters or Chinese culture, but with their strong interest in learning a different chess game and the staff’s guide through the rules of Chinese chess, they were soon able to play a match.
While showcasing different aspects of Chinese culture, the CII also promoted their well-designed Chinese courses including children’s Chinese class, evening class, one to one class, undergraduate degree course, Chinese teaching graduate course, etc. The staff answered the many questions regarding these programs.