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.

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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.

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

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.

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.

Be a better self – From Belfast to Beijing

July is a bustling season for graduation and it is the time to wish the graduates a great success and a bright future. No matter where they go, they are closely linked to Queen’s as a valued alumnus member. In May 2023, Queen’s held a series of activities for Chinese alumni in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou respectively. Many outstanding Queen’s alumni from different parts of China excitedly joined one of the sessions with a welcome-home atmosphere.

On this special occasion, we are glad to invite Lina SHI (史丽娜), aka. Selena in English, an MA graduate in Arts Management from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences in 2018, to share her Queen’s experience and life after graduation. Currently, she is working in the KPMG Beijing Office.

To my memory, this is the second alumni association held in Beijing. Although I missed the first one, I feel honoured to have become one of the four volunteers at the reception this time to introduce the alumni association event to the delegates.

Lina

Volunteer’s view of the Alumni Event in Beijing | Image: Lina SHI

Seeing such activities as a precious opportunity for them to take a break from their busy professional and family lives, Lina was delighted to meet and chat with each other at the Beijing session.

I am delighted to find that Queen’s graduates are now doing well. Whether within national institutions or within foreign and local companies (本土公司 běntǔ gōngsī), Queen’s students contribute their knowledge and abilities to their positions. Undoubtedly, our Queen’s educational experience gave us solid academic standing when it came to job hunting post-graduation (毕业求职 bìyè qiúzhí). As a result, you would find that Queen’s graduates occupied many varied positions in a wide range of fields, including international companies and even Chinese government offices (国家机关 guójiā jīguān).

Social time after the Alumni event | Image: Lina SHI

When asked what the best experience she ever had when studying at Queen’s, Lina attributed her highlights to her intercultural learning experience during her internship:

I would tell any future student that if you choose to study at Queen’s, it would be a wonderful learning journey. Many things and people made the experience feel unforgettable for me. For example, I gained valuable internship (实习 shíxí) experience in Belfast.

As part of the assessments for my major, Arts Management, I needed to independently source an internship in arts management at local arts institutions. To be honest, it was hard for international students at that time. But don’t worry, every classmate finished their arts internship work in the end. It was an extremely helpful experience for my career.

I spent three months working in an arts management internship at Ulster Youth Orchestra (管弦乐队 guǎnxián yuèduì). The Ulster Youth Orchestra exists to enable young people from throughout Northern Ireland to achieve their musical potential through the provision of the highest quality of professional tuition. I worked in UYO’s administrative office, located in Royal Avenue, Belfast. I was very lucky to join the rehearsal for the 25th Anniversary Concert in 2018.

A grand view of the Orchestra performance at the Ulster Hall, Belfast | Image: Lina SHI

Generally, my internship duties (职务 zhí wù) included putting forward arts fundraising applications to the UK and local government, communicating, and preparing rehearsal venues, cooperating with local other arts institutions, recording membership information and managing and archiving sheet music.

My manager and colleagues are very kind with international students like me. On the day of my birthday, Paula, the arts manager of Ulster Youth Orchestra, sent me a card and balloon to celebrate. What’s more, she treated me to a nice dinner with the team when my internship ended. The experience is very beneficial to the work I do in Beijing now.

A Thank-you card to Lina | Image: Lina SHI

We hope that sharing Lina’s experience has given you hope and motivation for choosing Queen’s University Belfast! As QUB’s motto goes, ‘Shape A Better World’, you have been shaped by Queen’s and you are shaping Queen’s and a wider society as well. Hope the better world will be more beautiful with the better you in the future!

Author: Lina SHI
Editors: Lauren McShane and Liang WANG

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Call for participation

Translating Age – Sharing experiences of being an older woman in a new country

This post is circulated on behalf of Professor Tess Maginess from School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, who are looking for older female participants of diverse cultural backgrounds, including those from the Chinese community to share their experiences of living in Northern Ireland. Any queries related to this project need to be directed to Professor Maginess (see contact information below).

解读年龄 —— 年长女性在新移居国的经历分享

如果您是一位年龄超过55岁、现居北爱尔兰的女性,我们将帮您有机会认识来自不同文化背景的女性并分享你们的经历。我们非常欢迎您的加入!

我们将邀请您参加由英国女王大学开放学习部成人教育项目举办的免费工作坊!这些工作坊都非常随意,您不需要任何资质即可参加。

我们希望通过聆听来自不同国家的故事、诗歌 (等) 来了解大家在移居国的老龄生活。如果您希望在谈论您的感受时得到一些帮助,您可以带上您家中的年轻成员一同参加。

参加本项目有何好处?

  • 分享您自己的文化并了解其他文化。
  • 分享您作为一位年长女性的经历。
  • 结交新朋友。
  • 学习新技能并获得大学的“认可”。
  • 让别人听到您的声音。
  • 学习如何成为一名合作研究者。
  • 参与制作一个包含您的观点和您自己的故事、歌曲、诗歌、手工作品的网站。

项目何时开展?

项目工作坊将于今年9月开始,秋、冬季(新年)期间每周一次。

如何报名参加?

请发送电子邮件至Tess Maginess教授 t.maginess@qub.ac.uk 或 Federica Ferrieri 博士federica.ferrieri@outlook.com

June’s Children’s Day

Did you know that June 1st is the Children’s Day (儿童节 értóng jié) in China? While it is also United Nation’s Global Day of Parents (父母 fùmǔ), RAO Jie (饶洁), a QUB graduate whose English name is June, has been committed to bringing happiness to children and their families through her magic power.

In China, Children’s Day takes place on 1st June each year. As a magician (魔术师 móshùshī), I’ve been participating in a sequence of magic performances (魔术表演 móshù biǎoyǎn) for children since the festival is just around the corner.

Based in a cultural and recreational centre in Wuhan, Hubei province, I often perform magic shows on weekends mainly targeted for children and their families. The performances, in general, walk the audience through modern and ancient times with relative tricks (戏法 xìfǎ), which are a real feast for the eyes. The show ends with an educational segment, when children are invited to the stage to experience magic up close as well as learn a trick themselves.

A group photo after June’s magic performance. Photo credit: Rao Jie

This show enjoys great popularity as it engages the younger generation in some wonderful experiences, which deliver both happiness and the message that nothing is impossible (一切皆有可能 yíqiè jiē yǒu kěnéng). During this show, children are exposed to magic moments and incredible interactions. Theatres are always filled with laughter and wonder. It is the greatest thing in the world to see children’s happy and amazed faces. Meanwhile, adults, mainly the parents, also are given a chance to laugh and wonder carefreely (胡猜乱想 hú cāi luàn xiǎng) like children – being curious (好奇 hàoqí) about and believing in everything with a pure heart.

While we are unable to watch June’s magic show on site in China, there is still a chance for you to enjoy one of her performances recorded for our Chinese New Year 2021 celebration. Click the link below to access the recording.

Happy Children’s Day and happy Global Day of Parents!

Author: RAO Jie
Editors: Owen Marles and WANG Liang

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Happy Youth Day

青年节快乐!

4th May is the Youth Day in China, known as 五四青年节 (wǔsì qīngnián jié).

May (the) Fourth  n. (also 4 May, etc.) Chinese History (attributive) designating or relating to a demonstration held by students in Peking (Beijing) on 4 May 1919 to protest against the Chinese government’s failure to oppose the decision by the Versailles Peace Committee to allocate Germany’s former possessions in China to Japan; (also) designating the wider cultural and intellectual revolution in China for which this demonstration is generally regarded as having been a catalyst; esp. in May (the) Fourth Movement.

OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY

Today we invite you to join in this celebration with DENG Wei (邓维), a QUB graduate in Arts Management, who went back to China after graduation but now has returned to Belfast in pursuit her professional development in arts and cultural exchange through guzheng performance. She has performed guzheng widely on various occasions, both at Queen’s and beyond.

While she continues with her guzheng workshops at Queen’s she has now been invited to give performances at the City Hall, 2 Royal Ave, Belfast on Wednesdays from 11:00 to 18:30 pm.

Wei looks forward to welcoming anyone interested to go there for her scheduled performances, and more importantly, to have dialogues with her sharing their perspectives and practice of guzheng performance.

Wei is invited as a guest guzheng performer with WANG Xinxin for The Ballad of Mulan (《木兰辞》) at the Songs from Spring – Singing with Chinese Poetry concert on Saturday 6th May. Her next guzheng workshop at Queen’s will be on Tuesday 30th May, from 15:00 to 16:00, at the Auditorium, The McClay Library. It is a free session, but booking is required via the button below or scanning the QR code.

Well done, Wei, and May the 4th (force) be with you!