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The Confucius Classroom at Worcester Gymnasium School Held the "China in My Eyes" Cultural Eventhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6974The Confucius Classroom at Worcester Gymnasium School Held the "China in My Eyes" Cultural EventCISU<p>On October 21, the Confucius Classroom at Worcester Gymnasium School, under the Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University, held the “China in My Eyes” cultural sharing event, which attracts many teachers, students and local people.<br></p><p>The event was started by the beautiful Chinese umbrella dance, and the audience gave warm applause to the wonderful performances of the girls. In the next part, two students who participated in the summer camp in June this year shared their two-week experience in China. They took Chinese classes at the beautiful Xiamen University and visited in a romantic piano island – Gulangyu. The guests were amazed at the rich schedule of the summer camp and expressed their hope to participate next year.</p><p>At the event, Confucius Classroom teacher Wang Yaqi introduced China's traditional culture: four inventions, geodetic instruments, Chinese characters and calligraphy, etc., and introduced the new four major inventions of modern China (shared bicycles, high-speed rail, scan code payment and online shopping). The audience were amazed at the modernization and convenience of contemporary Chinese life and lamented the rapid development of China's 70-year history. Then Confucius Classroom teacher Xie Mengning brought a speech on China's modern tourist city Xiamen, Beijing and Shanghai. The three cities are different in style: Xiamen is fresh and playful, Beijing is traditional and modern, Shanghai is romantic and modern. Different geographical and cultural environments have created unique city. The audience hope they could have the opportunity to travel to China and experience different Chinese cultures.</p><p>The “China in My Eyes” cultural sharing event provided a wonderful experience for South African students and the public about Chinese traditional culture and contemporary Chinese status, and also established platform between the Chinese and African people to communicate with each other. The China-Africa Friendship Association will continue to deepen and revitalize under our efforts.​<br></p><p><br></p>
Chinese Spring Festival 2022http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9144Chinese Spring Festival 2022Professor Binlan Huang<p>​In 2022, CISU celebrated the Chinese Spring Festival on the first 3 days of February. The last day of January is considered “Spring Festivals Eve”. ​ This festival is an event that is celebrated by more than 1.6 million Chinese and Southeast Asians, as well as other Asians living around the world.  Due to the fact that it is based on the lunar calendar, the date may thus differ every year.  Discover more about this widely celebrated event <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsRQCYudFZQ">here</a>!<br></p><p>​<br></p>
Confucius Classroom at Worcester Gymnasium School Held Photo Exhibition of "70 Years’ Achievement in China"http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6973Confucius Classroom at Worcester Gymnasium School Held Photo Exhibition of "70 Years’ Achievement in China"CISU<p>​To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and to let students feel the development and changes in China more intuitively, the CISU’s Worcester Gymnasium School Confucius Classroom held a picture exhibition with the theme of "70 Years of Achievement in China".<br></p><p>On October 18th, a two-week photo exhibition kicked off at Worcester Gymnasium School. This photo exhibition featured pictures of China's modern science and technology, ecological agriculture, environmental governance, national education, urban development and other achievements, aiming to show a comprehensive and vivid China for the local teachers and students. Among them, emerging things such as shared bicycles, online shopping and mobile payment have become hot topics for teachers and students. While lamenting China's rapid development, students also expressed their hope to experience the convenience in China .</p><p>The successful holding of this photo exhibition has enabled South African students to have a better understanding of China in the past 70 years. In the future, the Confucius Classroom at Worcester Gymnasium School will continue to hold various cultural events and become a window for South African students and local people to understand modern China.<br></p>
CISU Offers South African Students a taste of the traditional Chinese "Dragon Boat Festival"http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9227CISU Offers South African Students a taste of the traditional Chinese "Dragon Boat Festival"Professor Huang Binlan<p>​​On 3rd June 2022, Worcester Gymnasium was honored to be part of an activity day celebrating Chinese culture, cuisine, and language. This day of enrichment was brought to Worcester by Professor Binlan Huang, Chinese Co-Director of CISU (Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University), and two CISU teachers.<br></p><p><img src="/english/confucius-institute/PublishingImages/testing-2/1.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p>Despite the suspension of Chinese classes during the pandemic, this event was well-attended, attracting over 130 teachers and students, all eager to learn more about this special day. In China, Dragon Boat Festival is a time to attend to issues surrounding health and emotional wellbeing, a message poignant to us in our current times.<br></p><p><br></p><p>In keeping with the spirit of this event, there was something for heart, body, mind, and spirit. Students took part in a lively session of Taichi, as well as a calming calligraphy session where they wrote the words “Ping An” (peace/ wellbeing). Students also got to express their creativity and made bright red dragon boats, the color being synonymous with vitality and celebration in China.</p><p><img src="/english/confucius-institute/PublishingImages/testing-2/2.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br>In celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival, Worcester Gymnasium students were also exposed to the culture and tradition surrounding this special day.<br></p><p><br></p><div>Firstly, students were entranced by the first presentation, the story of the Dragon Boat Festival. The story focuses on a poet of royal descent who deeply loved his country. His noble aspirations are thwarted by the Qin emperor, and thus, anguished, he throws himself into the river. His followers, who love him dearly, rush to his aid in boats. Too late, they throw rice balls into the water to stop the fish from consuming his body.</div><div><br></div><div>Food in China is not only a culinary experience but steeped in history, myth, and legend, too. Having heard the origins of Dragon Boat’s “Sticky Rice Dumplings”, students got to use a pair of chopsticks and try them for themselves. Chopsticks, the students learned, are more than just tools with which to eat. The second presentation explained just that, showing them the meaning and symbolism surrounding these modest sticks, as well as their etiquette and taboos. <br></div><div><br><br><img src="/english/confucius-institute/PublishingImages/testing-2/3.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br><br></div><div><img src="/english/confucius-institute/PublishingImages/testing-2/4.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br><br></div><div><br></div><div>Overall the event was a great success, and participants all hope there will be many more. <br></div><div><br></div><div><br></div><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p>​<br></p>
The CISU Celebrates the 13th UN International Chinese Language Dayhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9119The CISU Celebrates the 13th UN International Chinese Language DayProfessor Binlan Huang<p></p><div>UN International Chinese Language Day is observed annually on April 20 and seeks to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity. It also promotes the equal use of the UN's six official languages within its organization.</div><div><br>To celebrate the 13th UN International Chinese Language Day in 2022, the Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University (CISU) held two lectures and several activities at Stellenbosch High School. About 50 students, teachers, and parents attended the lectures. In addition to this school, the CISU held cultural activities at other venues, ranging from the SU campus to some of our other local schools, such as Kylemore High School and Rietenbosch Primary School, the latter of which has its own CISU Classroom.<br></div><div><br></div><div> Activities included writing the 'Fu' (福) character, making lanterns, and practicing Chinese Tai Chi and martial arts. More than 100 students and teachers participated in these activities. Since the covid pandemic in 2020, this is the first time for the CISU to hold on-site lectures and conduct cultural activities. The lectures and activities were well received and enjoyed immensely!  </div><div><br></div><div>The first lecture was about “China's 24 Solar Terms" and was presented by our CISU lecturer, Yang Jia. He introduced this system and then explained its significance. He said that “Guyu", the sixth solar term, begins on April 20, and it was thus chosen to be the UN International Chinese Language Day.</div><div><br></div><div>The second lecture “The Deeper Cultural Connotations of Chinese Characters" was delivered by CISU Chinese lecturer, Mikaela Keen. Chinese characters, she said, were a rich and nuanced conveyer of Chinese traditional culture. “Ideographic characters", for example, are a combination of a specific image (shape), a sound (phonetic element), and meaning (story). The shape shows an instantly recognizable image. Therefore, Chinese characters are rich and layered in meaning. If we take the 福 ("Fú" ) and 家 ("Jiā") characters as examples, we can see how they illustrate meaning. These kinds of insights will not only help learners memorize characters, but will also allow them to appreciate the visual poetry therein. This, in turn, may cultivate the learners' love for Chinese characters and enhance their literacy and motivation.<br></div><p><br></p>
SU Student Takes First Prize in “the 21st Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competitionhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9239SU Student Takes First Prize in “the 21st Chinese Bridge Proficiency CompetitionProfessor Binlan Huang<p>​​The Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University (CISU) received news yesterday that one of the university’s very own students, Iola Meyer, won first place in the 21st Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students in South Africa, an internationally hailed Chinese proficiency competition! This marks the first time in five years that Stellenbosch University is bestowed this honour. <br></p><div><br></div><div>Hosted by the Chinese Embassy of South Africa at the University of Johannesburg, it was attended by some big names, including His Excellency Chen Xiaodong (Chinese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of South Africa), Prof. Tshilidzi Marwala (Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg), Prof. Huang Wei (President of Asia Pacific Engineering Federation and Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences), Mr Tang Zhongdong (Consul General of Chinese Consulate General in Johannesburg), Mr Li Xudong (Education Counsellor, Chinese Embassy in South Africa) and Mr Chen Kan (Deputy General Manager of Huawei South Africa). </div><div><br></div><div>The significance of the Chinese Bridge Competition is two-fold. As many would attest, language lies at the heart of a culture and thus broadens the horizons of those who seek to learn it. These insights bring secondary benefits in that they facilitate exchange and cooperation between the people of China and South Africa.</div><div><br></div><div>The theme of this year’s event was aptly named "One World, One Family" and was live-streamed. All 6 Confucius Institutes and 2 Confucius Classrooms around the country watched in anticipation as their students strived to do their best in the three areas: 1. a written test (general knowledge test), 2. a speech (speaking test), and 3. Talent show (dramatic or artistic performance). Much to the excitement of the CISU, Iola Meyer achieved full marks in the written component, charmed the judges with her shadow puppet rendition of "Chang'e Flying to the Moon" and was awarded “The Huawei Cup”. </div><div><br></div><div>Iola Meyer, Chinese name “Mei Xiaoai”, expressed her thanks to her teachers both at CISU and at SU’s Department of Modern Foreign Languages. She adds, “even if you don't come first, you will definitely still 'win' in experience”. </div><div><br></div><div>The CISU hopes that the students of South Africa continue to avail themselves of this wonderful opportunity in years to come. It can only enrich us all, and truly bring about "One World, One Family".</div><div><br>​<br></div><p>​<br></p>
Festival Overture by National Orchestra Academia China http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9143Festival Overture by National Orchestra Academia China Huang Binlan<p><span style="font-size:13px;">​​To ring in the new year, musicians around the globe have prepared something quite special.​  Using a variety of instruments from around the world, they perform the Chinese “Festival Overture”. As you will hear, the music is lively, catchy, and full of the festive atmosphere so typical of Chinese celebrations. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsuwx_lyJmU"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Take a listen</span>!​</a></span><br></p>
CISU joins embassy’s 2022 Chinese New Year’s eventhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8912CISU joins embassy’s 2022 Chinese New Year’s eventConfucius Institute at Stellenbosch University<p>​On 28 January 2022, the Chinese embassy in South Africa hosted a <a href="https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/J0RpwuSvBwCG6I8heRsrug">virtual Chinese New Year's event</a> to bid farewell to the 'Year of the Ox' and usher in the 'Year of the Tiger'. At the invitation of the embassy, the Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University (CISU) recorded a video with New Year's greetings (screenshot alongside), which was screened as part of the celebrations.<br></p><p>Having been held for the past ten years, the New Year's event is a joyous occasion where the development of China-South Africa relations and the deepening friendship between the two nations are celebrated. This year, best wishes were also sent for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, which commenced on 4 February.<br></p><p> In his address, ambassador Chen Xiaodong extended sincere New Year's greetings to all fellow Chinese, Chinese institutions, the students and staff of Confucius Institutes, as well as to friends from all walks of life in South Africa. President Cyril Ramaphosa had also recorded a video message to honour the China-South Africa friendship, while Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, delivered a speech. ​</p><p>​<br></p>
Robert Kotze honoured for role in Confucius Institute at SUhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8655Robert Kotze honoured for role in Confucius Institute at SUEngela Duvenage <p>​​​​During a recent virtual event hosted from Beijing, China, Robert Kotze, senior director of Stellenbosch University (SU) International, was awarded a long-service medal in recognition of his involvement in supporting the work of the <a href="http://www0.sun.ac.za/cisu/">Confucius Institute at SU</a> (CISU) for more than a decade. CISU not only conducts extracurricular Chinese training at SU itself, but at schools and institutions in the broader Boland region as well.<br></p><p>Kotze, who serves as the local CISU director, was one of 75 directors worldwide to receive this recognition. His fellow recipients included peers from other African universities in Egypt, Madagascar, Kenya and Rwanda, among others. </p><p>The event was hosted by the Chinese International Education Foundation (CIEF), an international NGO that recently took over the coordination of programmes that promote the Chinese language and culture throughout the world. The initiative sees Chinese universities provide teaching, personnel resources and operational funding to more than a thousand Confucius institutes or classrooms worldwide. </p><p>In his keynote address, CIEF president Prof Yang Wei thanked medal recipients for the way in which they had been supporting Chinese teaching and learning at their respective institutions. Short videos were also shown to highlight the endeavours of various Confucius institutes. </p><p>CISU was established in 2007. Kotze thanked SU's Chinese partner institution, Xiamen University, for their ongoing support since inception, as well as for the honour of having served alongside five enthusiastic and committed Chinese co-directors at SU during this time. Prof Binlan Huang is the current Chinese co-director at CISU. </p><p>First established at SU's Centre for Chinese Studies, CISU moved to SU International in 2009. It provides non-credit-bearing language training at different proficiency levels to SU students as well as members of the broader Stellenbosch community, as well as opportunities to learn more about the Chinese culture. “The main mission is to accommodate people who are interested and willing to learn the Chinese language and understand the culture," Kotze explains.</p><p>CISU also coordinates a range of enrichment programmes at 14 schools in and around Stellenbosch and elsewhere in the Boland, such as Kylemore Secondary and Worcester Gymnasium. “I believe CISU's contribution is meaningful and opens up new worlds to the learners," Kotze says. “It has also allowed the University to forge relationships with these local schools."</p><p>In addition, its involvement with the Confucius Institute has enabled SU to strengthen its academic network in China. Over the years, the University has facilitated many summer and winter camps for learners and students, as well as the compulsory semester exchange to China for Chinese Language honours students as part of their graduate programme. “The Confucius Institute's work is grounded in broader academic collaborations to ensure that links between universities remain rooted in their respective scientific endeavours."</p><p>His work with the Confucius Institute has also been beneficial from a personal growth perspective, Kotze says. “It has given me many opportunities to visit China and learn more about various aspects of Chinese culture and history. Apart from training and capacity-building opportunities, the programmes always include rich cultural activities. Going to Beijing is always a special experience, and my visits to Zhangjiajie and the Terracotta Soldiers in Xi'an are also lifelong memories."</p><ul><li>For more information about the Confucius Institute at SU, visit www.sun.ac.za/cisu.<br></li></ul><p>​<br></p>
The seeds of Chinese are Sproutinghttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8403The seeds of Chinese are SproutingConfucius Institute at Stellenbosch University<p>On 6-7 June 2021, the South African final of the 20th CHINESE BRIDGE Chinese Proficiency Competition for College Students was successfully held. Three contestants from the Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University took part in the competition. Elke Swart won the third prize and Carla Gaskin and Wisdom Peru won the Excellent Award. ​<br></p><p><img alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/CIbanner.jpg" alt="CIbanner.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br><br></p><p><br><br></p><p>They each demonstrated their Chinese ability and artistic talent very well and achieved good results with limited preparation time. The students worked very hard and challenged themselves by stepping out of their comfort zones. They gained great experience and in-depth thinking as a result. </p><p>All three participants said that their experience of the competition was very well memorable and will stay with them for years to come and that they would like to participate again if given the opportunity. In addition, the students shared that enjoying the different and exciting performances of the other competitors was the best part of the competition. This is in line with the mission of the Chinese Bridge competition - the Chinese Bridge is a grand event for humanistic exchanges between Chinese and foreign youths and a "bridge of culture, friendship and heart" that connects the world.<br><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>