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).
The Cultural Diversity at Queen’s programme not only welcomes international students and staff members introduce their own cultures, but also encourages them to share their intercultural experience through this blog channel. Below is what GAO Ying, a Chinese student from Management School, told us her interesting experience of being invited to the Holi Festival celebration just a couple of days before the festival starts today, 8th March (also the International Women’s Day).
What did you know about this Holi Festival?
Well, actually before I was invited I knew little of it. Since I started my life at Queen’s I have made friends with a lot of international students, including Indians, many of whom are also my classmates. I have learned from them (and Google) that the colourful Holi festival is Indians’ celebration of the triumph of good over evil and the destruction of Holika, the banshee. It is also the joyous day when the Holi Festival begins with singing and dancing throughout not only India but also the world along with the diaspora. At the same time, it also represents the end of the monotonous colour of winter, followed by the spring flowers.
This year Holi falls on the 8th March, but it’s celebrated a bit earlier on the 5th March, which is a Sunday, so as to encourage more students to join.
What was your Holi experience and the joy of it?
Before I went, I was told by my best friend Parvin, who is a lovely Indian girl, that I’d better wear a white T-shirt because people would use coloured powder throwing to each other and into the air to celebrate Holi. After getting the ticket through an app, I went together with my friends to the Botanic Inn, which is a bar near Queen’s. I was quite eager to taste the new culture and would also be keen to meet some new friends at the event.
The celebration was arranged outdoors and everybody looked so excited. There was a DJ from Dublin who was invited here for music production. With energetic music, my Indian classmates introduced me to their friends then we all danced together. They taught me some Indian dancing steps and movements, some of which were actually from the daily actions of Indian labourers, such as grinding, stirring or making naan bread. We laughed, held each other’s hands and danced to the music, laughing out loud. It was so much fun with relaxing time. Of course, we all had colours on our faces and our bodies – no one could escape! I felt so happy that I should have another chance to know more about them.
What has been your overall student life experience with Queen’s so far?
Before I arrived at Queen’s, I had already heard from its media and social media like WeChat that Queen’s is a beautiful university with international students from many different cultures, which impressed me a lot.
When I came here, I enjoyed some local celebrations such as Halloween and Christmas, which was great because they gave a quite authentic feel. But the first large cultural event I was seriously engaged with was to attend as a student volunteer for the ArtEast Exhibition at the Ulster Museum, as part of the Chinese New Year Celebration programme at Queen’s. I was really proud of being able to help with promoting my own culture to visitors from other cultures. Now, through the Holi celebration I started to explore more other cultures which were distant to me originally. I really appreciate Queen’s multicultural environment, within which I have already started to harvest happiness, friendship, and a heart full of love.
I certainly have enjoyed my colourful life here and would like to encourage my friends, Chinese and international, to live our lives together in a more interactive and interesting way while studying at Queen’s.
We also thank GAO Ying for kindly sharing her Instagram account with us, which includes a video clip of their Holi Celebration! You are welcome to share your thoughts and comments with us in the reply box below or with Ying on her social media.
While the Lantern Festival is arriving on Sunday 5th February, which signals the end of Chinese Spring Festival season, we are still intoxicated with the celebrative atmosphere socially.
Following the success of the ArtEast Club’s ‘Chinese Brushes in Belfast and Beyond’ Exhibition and Workshop in Ulster Museum on Sunday 29th January, the ArtEast core members Jean, Lily and Wenli are embracing another art exhibition ‘East to West- Magic Brush 2023’ at ISLAND Arts Centre in Lisburn, starting from Saturday 4 Feb 2023 until Wednesday 1 Mar 2023.
All visitors are welcome! We wish the exhibition a great success!
Date: Friday 20 January 2023 Time: 13:00 – 16:00 Venue: 1st Floor Social Space, The Graduate School
About the Event:
Some of the main activities will include Chinese way of traditional writing in calligraphy, performances of musical instruments such as guzheng, guqin, and skills of practising taiji, Chinese dance and traditional Chinese costumes, all of which enriches the interactive topics through live demonstrations and hands-on practice.
§ 13:00-13:15: Start and welcome
§ 13:15-13:30: Guzheng performance (DENG Wei)
§ 14:15-14:30: Taiji performance (DA Wenkai)
§ 15:00-15:10: Chinese classic dance (SONG Yihui)
This half-day event is free for all. Tea/coffee and refreshments (including a taste of Chinese traditional snacks) are provided. Booking is needed due to capacity. Please complete the registration form below.
As 2022 drew to an end, we wish everyone a happy and healthy 2023! We also would like to remind you that the Chinese New Year (CNY) – Year of the Rabbit – is fast approaching in three weeks’ time. How are you going to celebrate it?
CNY celebrations at Queen’s
We are pleased to let you know that the celebration programme at Queen’s has been underway, with a range of events to entertain all – students, staff members, as well as members of the public. You may find the CNY2023 Programme page via the link below and here are some activities for you to kick a start while more will be uploaded shortly.
In addition to our celebrations on campus, we would like to make you aware of the social celebration of Chinese New Year in Belfast, operated by Success Dragon and Lion Dance Association, a registered charity in Northern Ireland (Charity no. 105478), who had been supporting Queen’s celebrations before pandemic.
The Chinese New Year Celebration returns to the Ulster Hall Belfast on Sunday 22nd January 2023 celebrating the Year of Rabbit. Come to enjoy a day full of fun and joy, rich in Colours and Culture. With over 12 global dances and music not to be missed.
盛大的中國新年慶典再次重臨 Ulster Hall Belfast。 日期是一月廿二號星期日。超過十二個各式的民族表演包括舞龍舞獅，中國功夫和中國的傳統舞蹈表演等。請從速預訂門票！
Alan Lui, Master of The success Dragon & lion dance association
Please note that we are not involved in performances and ticket booking issues. All enquiries should be sent to the Association directly, following the contact information on the poster.
With the approaching of the new semester we are pleased to announce that the Language Centre course enrolment starts at 00:30 on Thursday 1st September. We offer over 80 classes in 14 different languages, including Chinese, that have both online and in person teaching. All classes will commence week beginning Monday 10 Oct 2022.
Online registration will be closed on Thursday 6 Oct and we welcome all to make an early registration as courses are extremely popular and fill up quickly.
Chinese language courses are offered from level 1 to level 5.
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.
In 1982 the Dance Committee of ITI founded International Dance Day to be celebrated every year on the 29th April, the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), creator of modern ballet. The intention of the International Dance Day Message is to celebrate dance, revel in the universality of this art form, cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers, and bring people together with a common language – dance.
Queen’s is a multicultural campus with talented students from local and global areas that are well known for their distinctive cultural life, including dances. Chinese students, the largest international student community at Queen’s, has contributed a lot of fantastic dance performances, enriching the multicultural campus life.
On this special day (29th April), we invite Shiya GU (古诗雅), a talented dancer and currently postgraduate student in Arts Management from School of Arts, English and Languages, to share her life with dancing.
“Thanks to the Arts Management Placement opportunity, I am really fortunate that I’ve been involved in the Youth Dance Company (YDC) Project at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, and it is a great thing to learn from both local and international dancers. I’m looking forward to meeting many more talented dancers coming from outside of Northern Ireland in the future.”
‘I am so lucky and grateful to have been awarded the opportunity to perform and challenge myself in different types of dance. Dancing has been my genuine interest for over 20 years, from curiosity to career, and I have been changing my roles in the field of dance with dedication and passion.’
‘To me, dancing is a belief and a mission for dancers or people who love dancing. No matter where we are, as long as we have our willfulness and willingness, we can always free our bodies through dancing and express what we want.’
In the past, we have also enjoyed many excellent dance performances on campus. Here is a collection of some photos to share the great memory with you. If you have photos of yourselves performing dances or being an audience, feel free to share with us by leaving your message in the reply box below.
There is no celebration without singing and dancing.
Yangge dance (秧歌 yāngge) has a long history dating back to Han Dynasty and has become an essential part of festival celebrations in China. Every year, in the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar, Yangge will be performed to mark a prosperous new year.
In this short video presentation, we invited the Yangge Dance Team of Chinese Welfare Association Northern Ireland to send their CNY greetings with some folk dance clips for appreciation. Hope you will enjoy it.
We are also grateful to Sharon Fan, one of our Chinese tutors, to perform her singing for your appreciation.