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Tea and Wine: A Shared Passion

20 March 2017

People watch a demonstration of tea making
Students given a detailed introduction to Chinese tea culture.

The drinking of tea and wine are two pastimes that have long been adopted in the UK, despite originating in two different countries.

From 12th-15th March, the Confucius Institute was delighted to host a group of experts from Zhejiang University in China, the China National Tea Museum and the University of Southampton who all visited Cardiff to share their enthusiasm for these much loved beverages.

Students on the Languages for All and Choices programmes were given a detailed introduction to Chinese tea culture by Dr Ping Chen from Zhejiang University. Dr Chen gave an overview of the six different types of Chinese tea and spoke about the proven health benefits of tea drinking. Zhuzhen Zhu, Vice Director of the China National Tea Museum then provided a fascinating overview of tea and tea ware through the ages.

To close the evening, an intricate tea ceremony was performed which allowed the audience to appreciate the subtle and beautiful art of tea making.

The next day, the Chinese delegation teamed up with the University of Southampton to provide an innovative session on how Chinese tea and French wine have developed as their own national sub-cultures. Despite being from entirely different countries and cultures, French wine and Chinese tea have a shared history of ritual and cultivation. Both are symbols of hospitality, conviviality and lifestyle, and this was certainly appreciated by all who attended.

The Confucius Institute would like to give special thanks to the School of Modern Languages;  Dr Ping Chen from Zhejiang University in China; Ms Zhuzhen Zhu, Ms Wenjin Zhou, Ms Xiaojing Luo, Ms Dan Zhao and Mr Bin Zhou from the China National Tea Museum; and Prof Marion Demossier and Clelia Viecelli from the University of Southampton.

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