Happy Year of the Loong

The 龙 Lóng (or Loong / Chinese Dragon) has just arrived at Queen’s!

What an exciting day to welcome the auspicious 龙 Lóng (or Loong / Chinese Dragon) to Queen’s One Elmwood on Thursday 8th February, regardless of the blustery weather (which was said to be accompanying the Loong)!

Dragon Dance performed by QUB Success Lion Dance Club at One Elmwood social space.

Over 60 staff and student representatives from a range of diverse cultural backgrounds celebrated the launch of Year of The Chinese Dragon programme, jointly organised by the Language Centre, iRISE Staff Network, Student Experience Team, The Graduate School, Chinese Students and Scholars Association, supported by Diversity, Inclusion and Staff Wellbeing Unit, and partially sponsored by the QUB Annual Fund.

Professor Margaret Topping, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement, welcomed the value of contact between different languages and cultures for the benefit of enhanced mutual respect through intercultural exchange.

Professor Margaret Topping, PVC (Global Engagement), delivered a welcome speech to the audience.

We wish that this celebration programme on the Year of The Chinese Dragon, as part of our Celebrating Cultural Diversity at Queen’s scheme, will make a contribution to the multicultural campus development, which sees differences as strength to foster an environment of open-mindedness and acceptance.

The Launch event featured student/alumni performances including guzheng music and classical dance, QUB Staff Wellbeing Choir’s singing of both Chinese and local songs, and the bustling and exciting Dragon Dance inside One Elmwood, followed by an interactive CNY Fair with cultural displays.

The CNY celebration programme includes a three-week-long events and it welcomes all students and staff members to choose their favourate ones to attend in the coming two weeks. For full programme and registration links, please visit CCP2024 Homepage.

More photos will be added to our FB account and if you wish to share yours with us, please attach them via the Comment box below, or click the link for multiple uploading

Spring Festival Season Starts

The Start of Spring (立春) falls on Sunday 4th Feb according to the Chinese lunisolar calendar, which well announces the arrival of Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) celebration in China and elsewhere.

Spring Festival Gala

On Saturday 3rd Feb, the Chinese Students’ Society presented a fabulous Gala of performances to entertain not only QUB students and staff members, but also their families and local communities, with an intoxicating atmosphere that brought people together, no matter what cultural backgrounds they belong to, for a bustling night at the Mandela Hall, One Elmwood.

Culture Talk

The success of the Spring Festival Gala has extended its inviting arms to welcome more audience to join in a great variety of cultural events that are to come, with a culture talk presented by Dr Ibrar Bhatt and Heng WANG on their research reflections on Chinese Muslim Heritage Literacy, which is scheduled between 3 pm and 4:30 pm on Monday, 05/02, at the Auditorium, McClay Library. The talk will also include a display of notable pieces of traditional art collected during fieldwork. QUB colleagues and students are welcome to attend this joint event organised by the Centre for Language Education Research and The Language Centre.

To attend this event, please register via the link or scanning the QR code.

Online Exhibitions

We are also pleased to announce the start of our online exhibitions – Drawing The Dragon Competition and ArtEast Exhibition from Sunday 04/02. The audience are more than welcome to leave your comments to the artworks and share their thoughts in line with the themes.

More Celebrations

Last but not least, we are would like to remind that there are two more big celebrations lined up for this week – The Festival of Chinese New Year hosted by the Graduate School on Wednesday and CNY Launch Day with Interactive Fair on Thursday in One Elmwood. Places are limited so advance bookings are required.

Laba Festival & CNY 2024

Happy Laba Festival (腊八节 Làbā jié) – Have you had Laba congee yet?

The Laba Festival (腊八节 Làbā jié), a traditional Chinese festival on the 8th day of the 12th month (called 腊月 là yuè) in the lunar calendar, is often seen as the signal of the arrival of the Chinese New Year (aka. Spring Festival 春节 Chūn jié in China).

Laba congee cooked | Image@LiangWANG

On the day, in many places across China, mainly the north, northwest and southeast, people cook and eat Laba congee (腊八粥 làbā zhōu), typically made of rice, mixed beans, various nuts and dried fruits, etc., all of which are believed to be good for health. Having Laba congee can keep one feel warm and spirited in the cold and wet weather.

With the Laba Festival arriving today on 18th January this year, one can be certain that the Chinese New Year – Year of the Dragon (龙年 Lóngnián) starting from 10th February, is just around the corner.

Call for CNY participation

While we are busy preparing for the CNY2024 Programme, we would like to invite you to join us in a few activities that can bring the celebrative elements together. The following calls for participation are totally voluntary and you are welcome to attend one or all, as long as you feel like relevant and meaningful.

Drawing the Dragon Competition
“龙年涂龙”比赛

This event is for all those who currently reside in Belfast and NI.

Chinese Artefacts Collection|
龙年春节中国工艺品展征集

This event is for QUB students and staff members who have a collection of Chinese artefacts at hand.

Volunteering for CNY Events
春节活动志愿者招募

This event is for staff and students at Queen’s to volunteer at our series of events such as the CNY Gala, CNY Interactive Fair, Culture Workshops, etc.

CNY and I at QUB
我在女王过春节

This activity is for those graduates and staff members who have left QUB and current students and staff members.

We would like to thank you for your support and look forward to welcoming you to join our celebrations that are to come soon. Stay tuned!

Drawing the Dragon Competition

To celebrate the upcoming Year of the [Chinese] Dragon, commencing on Saturday, February 10, 2024, we extend a warm invitation to participate in our Drawing Competition centered around the theme of of the [Chinese] Dragon (Chinese character: 龙 (simplified) / 龍 (traditional), pronounced as lóng, similar to ‘long’, also coined in English as ‘loong’).

Beyond its legendary significance in Chinese culture and historical representation as an auspicious symbol wielded by imperial power, the Dragon has evolved into a national totem, symbolizing the offspring of the Chinese nation. Its influence has also extended to neighboring countries such as Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and more.

We cordially invite Queen’s students, staff members, their families, and the local communities to participate in this drawing competition, an opportunity to express your imaginative interpretation of this mythical creature through contemporary artistic mediums.

Participants are encouraged to employ diverse drawing styles and mediums (e.g., sketching, oils, watercolor, sculpture, etc.) as long as they effectively convey your perceptions of 龙/龍 within your own cultural context or Chinese culture. We welcome authentic forms and techniques of presentation, excluding AI-related works.

The competition will close on Sunday 4th Feb, and a Drawing the Dragon session for QUB students, organised by the Student Experience Team, will take place on Friday 2nd Feb.

Submissions should consist of one drawing per participant, saved as an electronic copy (JEPG/JPG/PNG format, no exceeding 2MB). Please submit your artwork via the provided submission form, accompanied by a brief bio, including your name, status (e.g., educational/professional background), and a concise description of your illustration.

We look forward to witnessing your creative expressions!

More events

For more upcoming events that celebrate Year of the Dragon on campus, please visit the home page Chinese Culture Programme 2024.

Memorable experience in MA Arts Management Showcase

How exciting when you were selected for a panel discussion on your research work and experience as part of your postgraduate degree study at Queen’s?

Today we invite Ruinan PENG (彭瑞楠), MA in Arts Management 2022-2023, from School of Arts, English and Languages, to share her wonderful experience of being invited for the Arts Management Showcase event on 7th November 2023.

What’s it about the Arts Management Showcase event?

The MA Arts Management Showcase is actually part of the annual Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science, which provides a great opportunity to display outstanding Queen’s MA Arts Management students’ research to the professional circles and the public for a wider social impact.

Click here to view the whole programme of ESRC Festival of Social Science 2023

At the event, the convention is that a senior guest speaker would be invited to share his or her research on the culture and arts field, followed by a presentation of selected outstanding postgraduate research work and a round-table discussion with the guest speaker. Therefore, this showcase event is an ideal opportunity to demonstrate Arts Management teaching and research outcomes at Queen’s and communicate with professional researchers in arts management from outside Queen’s.

What was your experience on the day?

As one of the four student speakers, I presented my dissertation (学位论文 xuéwèi lùnwén) which was about curating (策展 cèzhǎn) and audience engagement (观众参与 guānzhòng cānyù) in contemporary art exhibitions (当代艺术展 dāngdài yìshùzhǎn), exploring how curating constructs audiences’ experiences and facilitates audience engagement in contemporary art exhibitions. Alongside me, Dr. Christina Ballico, and my classmates, Holly and Stephanie, presented their research in terms of ‘music city’, ‘arts engagement of the working class (工人阶级 gōngrén jiējí)’, and ‘music education development in Northern Ireland’. Their presentations were interesting and insightful, illustrating a bigger picture and sketching out the details about how to develop an inclusive, equal cultural engagement for cities, artists, and the public. Also, their research methods and case studies expanded my knowledge of conducting arts management both in the academic and professional domains.

There was a Q&A panel and a networking (会后交流 huìhòu jiāoliú) session following the end of the presentation.

Ruinan at the panel discussion | Photo provided by Ruinan PENG

What was your feeling about such an experience?

It was not only a rewarding moment to ‘show off’ my efforts in my independent research but also a lovely reunion with my supervisors, classmates, and friends. Reviewing my  experience of studying at Queen’s, I had a strong sense of achievement (成就感 chéngjiùgǎn) and gained many opportunities to improve my language and intercultural skills, and develop my research abilities, thanks to the small-scale class, diverse classmate backgrounds, high-standard course programme, and professional and dedicated teachers. I treated this event as my reward for my study at Queen’s and hope that more Chinese students at Queen’s step onto this showcase stage in the future.

Ruinan at the panel discussion | Photo provided by Ruinan PENG

Author: Ruinan PENG
Editors: Lauren McShane and Liang WANG

My Volunteering Experience

Happy International Volunteer Day! On this special occasion this year, we would like to invite you to join in our celebration with Xinxin, one of our proactive students who has had great volunteering (志愿 zhìyuàn) experience at Queen’s and else where.

Xinxin WANG (王心欣), a postgraduate from Queen’s Law School, has just successfully completed her Master of Law in International Commercial & Business Law this Winter 2023. She is from Tianjin, China. Before she came to Queen’s, she has had good working experience in China, focusing on accountancy and business advisory services.

Photo of Xinxin at CNY Celebration in 2023 at Queen’s University | Photo Credit: Liang Wang

Volunteering, hard work? Yes! And paid? No! That’s volunteering, but it makes me feel great and meaningful rather than seeking financial rewarding. It brings me a diverse feeling of life and to obtain satisfaction from helping others. There is a saying in Chinese, “与人玫瑰,手有余香 (yǔ rén méiguī shǒu yǒu yú xiāng).

What kind of volunteering experience have you had so far and how did you feel about such volunteering experiences?

In the celebration of the Chinese New Year (Year of the Rabbit) held by our University, I worked with other Chinese students and teachers as volunteers (志愿者 zhìyuànzhě), and I felt great that we could celebrate this most important Chinese festival together at Queen’s. This was my first time celebrating Chinese New Year away from my family. The wonderful experience released me from being overly homesick and helped me earn a sense of joyful reunion with my folks and friends at Queen’s as a big family.

In the ‘One Young World 2023 Belfast’ event, which was a big celebration for the world’s youth leaders in politics, journalism, commercial area, sports and so on, I was the helper for the opening ceremony and workshops. As a volunteer, I could have the opportunity to meet figures who are successful and influential in various industries. I felt grateful that I could have the opportunity to communicate with the organisers and speakers who inspired me with their stories and experiences in different commercial areas, which broadened my horizons and expanded my network with people from different cultural backgrounds. When I received the “Thank You Event” invitation from the organising committee and an invitation to be a referral for a friend in her volunteering work application last week, I felt warm and touched because my efforts and kindness are highly recognised, which also could build my confidence about the future.

In sport events like the Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2023 and 3K & 5K Running, I assisted with registration and passing waters to athletes during running and I was encouraged by their spirits and enthusiasm towards sports and life.

In the past, I also worked as a volunteer in many events in China, like helping with delivering food and nucleic acid amplification tests during the COVID-19 blocking period; helping in Beijing Olympic Games 2008 and tour guide of Tianjin Museum in 2006. From my volunteering experience, I became more and more knowledgeable and collaborative and made many friends.

What was the value of volunteering experience to you?

To me, the meaning of volunteering experience is far more than finding a paid work, especially when I study and live abroad, which offers me a sense of belonging and helps to expand my network with diverse team and people with different occupations and cultural backgrounds. More importantly, I could have a chance to know better about the ways of working in my current capacity, which could allow me a quickly adapt to the working environment in the future.

What message would you like to pass on to like-minded people looking for volunteering opportunities?

If you also want to practice in the real world, no matter what your expertise or employability skill are, please do not hesitate to seize the volunteering opportunity, and go for it!

Call for Volunteering for CNY Celebrations

Happy International Volunteer Day (05/12)!

The Language Centre is organising a Chinese New Year Celebration Information Session to mark the International Volunteer Day (05/12) on Monday 04/12 (13:00-15:00) at the Auditorium, McClay Library. If you are interested in what’s going to happen and how you can get involved, feel free to pop in and join us in the session.

Call for volunteers

As the Year of the Dragon (龙年春节) is arriving in Feb 2024, we are looking for talented students and staff members to volunteer for our Chinese New Year celebration at Queen’s. It could be in the form of a variety of cultural performances, or language/culture-related topics and skills, and is open to both Chinese-speaking and non-Chinese speaking volunteers.

If you would like to express your interest in volunteering for the preparation and delivery of the proposed events, feel free to scan the QR code, or click the Form URL below to submit your interest.

We also look forward to working with you in our future language and cultural events.

Language Centre Course Enrolment

The second enrolment for courses, including Chinese, to start in January 2024 has now been available online. Anyone wishing to learning Chinese can find relevant course timetable and registration information from The Language Centre Homepage.

The Beginning of Winter

Calling all QUB learners of Chinese for a Chinese Winter Camp (online)

The Beginning of Winter (立冬 Lìdōng) falls on Tuesday 7th November this year. Welcome, winter!

The Language Centre has received an invitation from Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT, 北京理工大学), which is one of our Queen’s partner universities in China, for all learners of Chinese at Queen’s to attend their ONLINE Chinese language programme in January 2024. Read on for the details:

BIT Campus

Dear colleagues and friends,

Warm greetings from Beijing Institute of Technology!

Our Winter Program for Chinese Language and Culture is going to come!

There are both ON-CAMPUS (2-week) and ONLINE (2-week) programs available in this 2024 winter. HSK3 (Chinese level) is required for on-campus program.

Fees:

On-campus programs: USD800/ person for partner university

Online program is also totally FREE and no number limit.

Duration:

Jan 7–Jan 20, 2024 (on-campus/online program)

Nomination from partner university is necessary and sent before Nov 15th, 2023 for on-campus program and Dec 15th 2023 for online program.

Application Deadline:

30 Nov, 2023 (on-campus program)

24 Dec, 2023 (online program)

Application Platform: apply.isc.bit.edu.cn

Looking forward to your nomination and students!

If you are interested in this programme (online), please contact Dr Wang (liang.wang) for further information and nomination.

Provisional schedule

The time displayed here refers to Beijing Time (+8)

My Conference Assistant Experience at Queen’s

Being an international student at Queen’s never means that one has to bury their heads into books and articles for their academic study. Instead, proactively partaking in a range of academic and social events can benefit them hugely.

In this post, Yufei Yang (杨雨菲), a MA candidate in Children’s Rights, tells us how she felt about being an international conference assistant during her study at Queen’s.

“While assisting at the conference, this international event enabled me to connect with participants from around the world, representing diverse cultures and backgrounds.”

Yufei yang, pG student from school of social sciences, education and social work, qub

In September, as an international student assistant, I had the privilege of participating in the “CHILDREN’S RIGHTS PARTICIPATION & EDUCATION SYMPOSIUM,” marking one of the highlights of my inspiring cross-cultural (跨文化 kuàwénhuà)  journey since I came to study at Queen’s. This conference brought together distinguished scholars and experts from Poland (波兰 Bōlán) , Ireland (爱尔兰 Ài’ěrlán) , China (中国 Zhōngguó) and many other nations, engaging deeply in discussions about children’s rights (儿童权利 értóng quánlì) and education (教育 jiàoyù).

Presentation at the conference | Photo: Yufei Yang

While assisting at the conference, this international event enabled me to connect with participants from around the world, representing diverse cultures and backgrounds. It was an enriching experience that highlighted the richness and excitement of cross-cultural communication (跨文化交际 kuàwénhuà jiāojì). Interacting with representatives from Poland, Ireland, and other countries provided insights into unique perspectives and practices regarding children’s rights and education.

Conference Panel | Photo: Yufei Yang

Through group discussions (小组讨论 xiǎozǔ tǎolùn) and workshops (工作坊 gōngzuòfǎng), I shared best practices from my home country alongside international participants, delving into the challenges within the realm of children’s rights and education. Scholars (学者 xuézhě) from various nations passionately presented their research progress and reports, not only enriching academia with new insights and innovations but also inspiring other professionals.

This collaborative effort fostered a better understanding of each other’s cultures and backgrounds, emphasizing the significance of respect (尊重 zūnzhòng) and understanding (理解 lījiě). Beyond academic exchange (学术交流 xuéshù jiāoliú), the symposium showcased the power of international cooperation (国际合作 guójì hézuò). Our collective focus on the future of children’s rights and education reinforced the understanding that these goals can be better achieved through global collaboration (全球协作 quánqiú xiézuò).

Overall, this symposium on children’s rights and education served as a vibrant cross-cultural adventure, underlining the value of international academic exchange. It opened doors to broader explorations for the future, igniting a passion for the continued pursuit of knowledge.

Author: Yufei YANG
Editor: Lauren McShane and Liang WANG

Recruitments

【招募古筝表演】
招募人数:1人
参演日期:9月20日 周三
参演地点:Queen’s校园
参演时间:中午,不超过半小时
是否有偿:是
要求:Queen’s 在读学生
联系人:王老师
联系方式:liang.wang[at]qub.ac.uk
招募截止日期:9月10日

A guzheng for display at the Language Centre office. Photo: Liang WANG

【招募拍摄助理】
招募人数:2人
拍摄日期:9月23日 周六
拍摄地点:Queen’s校园和市中心
拍摄时间:全天8小时(最多)
是否有偿:是
要求:须为Queen’s 持有Tier4 签证的在读学生、擅长拍摄建筑、对构图有审美、自带设备更佳
联系人:何老师
联系微信:carriehe2016
招募截止日期:9月15日

Queen’s Media and Broadcast PG students (Mengjia QU, Jiaqi LI and Xiaoya WU) working onsite. Photo: Liang WANG

Call for volunteers 常招志愿者

We are looking for talented students and staff members to volunteer for our Chinese language and cultural events at Queen’s. It could be in the form of a variety of cultural performances, or language/culture-related topics and skills, and is open to both Chinese-speaking and non-Chinese speaking volunteers.

We look forward to working with you in our future events.