To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Confucius Institute worldwide, UCD CII held a unique celebration on Saturday September 27th, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland. About 500 students of the UCD CII participated in the Learning Outcomes Exhibition and performances which demonstrate the charm of Chinese culture. The celebration was also attended by some invited guests including H.E. Xu Jianguo, the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, Counsellor Zhang Shujing, Mr Alan Dixon, Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Region, Enterprise Ireland, Prof. Dermot Moran, President of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies and Mr. Gerry Breen, former Lord Mayor of Dublin.
Students from 40 secondary schools and colleges exhibit their learning outcomes through 20 booths which included the Chinese Zodiac, Peking Opera mask painting, Guzheng, Chinese calligraphy and photos and stories of their real experiences in China. There were also 8 performances involving folk songs, Guzheng, dancing, ‘Sanjuban’ and Kongfu. The dance entitled ‘Little Apple’ brought the event to a delightful climax and collected the first prize. 5 more exhibitors were awarded the second and third prizes.
Ambassador Xu Jianguo pointed out: "On the 10th anniversary of the first Confucius Institute, today’s Confucius Institute Day provides a platform where the students will not only have a joyful day but also learn from each other’s experiences and improve their knowledge of Chinese language and culture." Indeed, this was not only a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Confucius Institute worldwide but also an exhibition of the outcomes of Chinese learning in Ireland. The event attracted more than 500 Irish students and friends and was a great success.
Apart from the exhibition and performance, the UCD CII Chinese teachers also arranged various culture workshops such as Chinese calligraphy, Guzheng and Hulusi instrument demonstrations, Chinese knots and Chinese paper-cutting. The Irish students and friends were able to experience Chinese culture highlights on the spot. Many parents of students said they hoped their children would have more opportunities to experience first-hand Chinese culture like these.
The UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland, established in 2006, is now working with more than 50 Irish schools in teaching Chinese language and culture. Other teaching programmes include evening classes, training programmes for local teachers etc. The total number of registered students with the UCD CII are 5,300 each year. Ambassador Xu concluded: "As a model Confucius Institute, the UCD Confucius Institute has played an important role in promoting Chinese learning, exchanges and friendship between Chinese and Irish people. I hope you can keep up your good work and creativity to make the UCD Confucius Institute even better in the future."