Chinese Culture on Display at 2017 Chinese Immersion Day Canterbury
On 29th of October, the fourth Chinese Immersion Day/Celebration of 2017 New Zealand Chinese Language Week was held in the newly-built hall of Christchurch Boys’ High School.
The event was co-organised by the New Zealand Chinese Teachers Association of Canterbury (NZCLAC) and the Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury (CIUC). More than 500 local students and parents participated in the event. MP for Christchurch Central Duncan Webb, National MP Hon Nicky Wagner, Chinese Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Christchurch Wang Zhijian, former New Zealand Ambassador to China from 2004 to 2009 Tony Brown, Christchurch City Councillor Anne Galloway, Education Consul Zhai Jianjun, and the Deputy Headmaster of Christchurch Boys High School Steve Fraser were invited to attend the event and delivered speeches.
Tony Brown said that since the two countries established diplomatic ties forty-five years ago, the cultural exchanges between the two countries expanded considerably. "In recent years, the increasing number of Kiwis studying Chinese shows that bilateral relationships have been promoted. In addition, Kiwis gain a better understanding of Chinese culture by learning the language.”
Nicky Wagner believes that Chinese is a very interesting language, and more children should be encouraged to learn it. She also gave her best wishes for the success of the immersion day.
Wang Zhijian expressed his great appreciation to CIUC and NZCLAC for their thorough preparation for the Chinese Immersion Day. He said that Chinese has become more and more popular and local students from throughout the South Island study Chinese with increasing passion. Bilateral economic trade and cultural exchanges between New Zealand and China are supported by people learning Chinese. He concluded by saying, “Learning Chinese can double your friends. In addition, after the success of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, China will become more diverse in the future and attach more significance to connections with other countries.”
After the VIP speeches, the audience enjoyed stunning performances of a lion dance, drum dance, Chinese songs and Taichi. The Chinese folk dances from Merrin School, Fendalton School and Qiao Lei Children Dance Group were a highpoint of the event.
After the performances, the teachers from CIUC and NZCLAC showcased a variety of cultural activities and games, including doing a tea ceremony, Chinese knot making, Chinese paper-cutting, calligraphy, blowing plum blossom picutres as well as fun Chinese language games.
Josh, a student from Cobham Intermediate, said "Every game is interesting, and my favorite is Chinese chess - Five in a Row is also great."
Ms Dong, a teacher from CIUC, demonstrated the exquisite art of Chinese Tea Ceremony at the scene. "Tea culture is a part of Chinese culture and it is a valuable chance to show our excellent Chinese cultural overseas. " she said, "I feel very proud."