Blwyddyn y Ddraig
25 January 2012
A spectacular evening of gala of music, dance and culture has welcomed the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Dragon.
Cardiff University's Chinese Students and Scholars Association, in collaboration with Cardiff Confucius Institute hosted the Gala at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales.
Chinese students have also performed at a Chinese New Year celebration hosted by the First Minister for Wales, the Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM.
Highlights of the University Celebration included the traditional spectacular New Year's Lion Dance. Pupils from Cardiff's Lansdowne Primary School performed a Chinese folk dance, the Bamboo Dance and children from Cardiff Mandarin School also took part. Other acts included a magic show and a display of Kung fu. This year's event also had an international dimension, including performances of Welsh folk dance and Puccini's Nessun Dorma.
The event was attended by Mr Fenghe Qiao, First Secretary in the Education Section of the Chinese Embassy to the UK.
Dr Richard Evans, Director of Cardiff Confucius Institute at the University's Centre for Lifelong Learning, said: "Once again, Cardiff's Chinese students put on a wonderful spectacle for the New Year's Gala. It was particularly encouraging to see local schoolchildren performing Chinese songs they have learned, reflecting the Cardiff Confucius Institute's mission to heighten appreciation of Chinese culture and language across Wales."
Chinese students also performed traditional dance when First Minister Carwyn Jones welcomed guests to the Senedd to commemorate Chinese New Year.
The event followed a high-level delegation to China last year where the First Minister led talks to promote Wales as a business destination and place to invest, as well as promoting educational opportunities in Wales. Cardiff University representatives accompanied the First Minister and one of the highlights was the signing of a new agreement with Chongqing Health Bureau Agreement on cancer training and research collaboration.
The First Minister wished guests at the Senedd event a happy new year in Mandarin and Cantonese.
He said: "My government is committed to Wales' relationship with China and late last year I returned from an extremely productive and enjoyable visit to the country, the first of what I hope will be many as First Minister of Wales.
"Our relationship embraces a wide range of areas, from business, energy, education and health and I want this journey to continue. I sincerely hope that the Year of the Dragon will bring lasting peace, common prosperity and harmony between our two nations."