Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Cultural Connections @ Confucius Institute Day

This post may be a bit belated but i really loved joining in with the Confucius Institute day in Auckland recently. I know our Mandarin students around Aotearoa would have loved to participate in these activities too. I wished they were all with me to enjoy the day. My mind was racing on how we can have a 'Camp China' for our students that are distributed around the country or how we can support them to attend future events such as this one. Definitely something to plan for the future and may be more accessible if we can grow participation in Asian Languages (see my last post) further than Auckland and out into the regions.

The day started with a Breakfast seminar at the Fale Pasifika, Auckland Uni, with guest speaker Professor Zhang Wei. His topic was around a Chinese Perspective of democracy & the future of China. It is a good reminder that there are many viewpoints beyond our own that we should be aware of, irrespective of our own political ideologies. Naive statement i know but politics is not a path i want to follow on this blog. I am sure though if the events in HongKong were unfolding earlier we would have had a livelier Q & A session.

So breakfast is always good and my first real Chinese breakfast with Black Rice:

We then headed over to the quad for a powhiri, more speeches, great dancing and martial arts demo. Here are photos of just a few of the activities to join in:

Chinese cultural activities are a great way to spark interest and participation in learning Mandarin and in developing Asia Awareness in your school. Check out Parnell School's Mandarin Blogspot that showcases all their activities - i like the idea of the Great Dragon Challenge that engaged the whole school in a day of immersive cultural activities.

Well done to the team at Confucius Institute and our Mandarin Language Assistants (some above), including Dandan (below) I know a lot of effort went into the planning, preparation and hosting of the day! (Here is the link to more pics from Confucius Institute of the day)

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