2019-11-21 02:02, James Zhao
The 2019 UCD Open Day took place on the 9th of November, with UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland hosting a variety of activities throughout the day. Lectures were held to introduce the Chinese degree programmes provided in UCD and several cultural workshops were also held including calligraphy, a tea ceremony, Chinese chess, paper-cutting and traditional instrument performances.
The tea performers not only prepared authentic Chinese green tea for the audience but also introduced Kungfu tea and etiquette for serving and drinking tea. The audience enjoyed relaxing with their Chinese tea while watching the tea performance.
Calligraphy is undoubtedly an essential part of Chinese culture. On the Open Day, a long queue formed in front of the calligraphy stand. With the guidance of teachers, many visitors learned how to hold the writing brush, dip the ink and write some Chinese characters. The Chinese teachers also designed a Chinese name for each visitor and wrote it down for them as a gift.
As an ancient folk art with rich cultural significance, papercutting has always been one of the most popular cultural events. The traditional paper-cut works of the Chinese characters for “Double Happiness” (囍), “Spring” (春) and “Lucky” (福) were displayed for the visitors, and there was great excitement as visitors tried Chinese papercutting for themselves. The process of paper folding, painting and tailoring allowed the visitors to gain an insight to the ingenuity and fascination of this Chinese handicraft.
The Chinese knot stand, decorated with colourful ropes, was also quite popular. The teachers prepared several simple and traditional ornaments and bracelets that are easy to knit, and almost every visitor was able to complete their own hangings and bracelets.
In addition, Chinese chess grabbed the attention of many visitors. The basic rules of Chinese chess were explained by the teacher, and many successfully completed the game for the first time.
Apart from these displays, the UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland also held two lectures on studying Chinese at UCD and a student’s year abroad experience in China. Dr Caitríona Osborne, assistant professor in the Irish Institute for Chinese Studies, gave the audience a detailed introduction on topics such as why one should study Chinese, the perceived difficulty of learning Chinese and what UCD can offer in terms of Chinese language and culture classes. Fourth-year Commerce international with Chinese student, James Comiskey, shared his year-abroad experience in China. He explained how the year abroad improved his Chinese language and cultural awareness, while he also gained a lot of Chinese and international friends. Questions raised by audience were patiently answered after the lectures.
The 2019 Open Day ended successfully at 3:30 pm. UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland enhanced students’ and parents’ understanding of Chinese language courses in UCD, and successfully promoted Chinese language and culture through the workshops and lectures.