The Year of the Monkey: Confucius Institute celebrates!
1 March 2016
The University’s Confucius Institute has welcomed the Chinese New Year this February with a range of events and activities designed to bring Chinese culture to the city of Cardiff.
The Confucius Institute is based within the University’s School of Modern Languages and aims to promote Chinese language and culture in Wales. The Institute was launched in 2008 and is a partnership between Xiamen University in south-east China, supported by the Hanban – China’s Office of Chinese Language Council International.
Each new year recognises a sign of the Chinese Zodiac – this year is the Year of the Monkey – the ninth sign.
The Year of the Monkey officially began on Monday 8 February but the Institute started celebrations early on 6 February with a Chinese family day at Cardiff Central Library. The event, which coincided with International Library Day, was open to members of the public and included workshops on lantern making, paper cutting, mask colouring and Chinese calligraphy.
Chinese New Year is an important and special time for families in China which is why the Confucius Institute welcomes everyone to their events when celebrating; allowing parents and their children to experience Chinese culture via workshops. The workshops proved really popular this year with old and young embracing the crafts on offer.
The new year celebrations continued on 13 February at the Wales Millennium Centre where the Confucius Institute held a family fun day, alongside partner organisations the Wales Millennium Centre, the Wales Lau Gar Lion Dance Team and the Cardiff Chinese Community Service Association which included a Kung Fu demonstration and a variety of children’s activities
General Manager of Cardiff Confucius Institute, Victoria Grant said, “The Chinese New Year is an integral time in our calendar at the Institute. It is a really accessible way for us to get out into local communities and share facets of Chinese life with people who aren’t familiar with Chinese cultures and customs but it’s also a time for us to connect with communities within the city that are of Chinese origin. Attendance at our events this year was really excellent.”
There are almost 500 Confucius Institutes around the world, and each one serves its community in a different way. The focus of the Confucius Institute at Cardiff University is upon language teaching and is built upon the vast breadth of expertise based at the School of Modern Languages.
An album of photographs of the new year celebrations at the Wales Millennium Centre is available to view on the School's Facebook page.