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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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).
4th May is the Youth Day in China, known as 五四青年节 (wǔsì qīngnián jié).
May (the) Fourthn. (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.
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.
Whilst people went out to the city centre for the St Patrick’s Day celebration (17th March), Mengjia, accompanied by her two friends, took the courage to perform guzheng music out there. Read on what Mengjia told us.
Tell us about you and your instrument
My name is QU Mengjia (屈梦佳) and I am a postgraduate student from China studying Master in Broadcast and Media Production at Queen’s University Belfast. I have been playing guzheng since the age of 6 and received my Grade 10 Guzheng Professional Certificate when I was 11 years old.
The guzheng is a kind of traditional Chinese string musical instrument that has had a history of over 2500 years. It first appeared in China during the Spring and Autumn Period (770–476 BC) and became prominent during the Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE).
Why did you want to play it on St Patrick’s Day?
I have had the idea of performing guzheng on the streets of Belfast since I came to study at Queen’s, because before I came to the UK I saw social media videos on Chinese students performing traditional Chinese arts overseas, and I wanted to do the same thing. I was particularly inspired to do this event after watching the Chinese New Year celebration this January, including guzheng performance on campus. Most of the audience were students and staff members, Chinese or not. I thought that I could help to do more by promoting guzheng performance in Belfast city center, where I could reach more people, both local and international, and introduce such an instrument through my performance. I chose St Patrick’s Day just because it was a great occasion to meet a large number of people in the downtown area as the parade started there.
How did you feel about your performance on the day?
Well, it was a pilot performance and I think this was the first guzheng performance ever done outdoors in the downtown Belfast area. I was quite excited to see many people around me. I have to say that the weather was so bad as it rained with gusty winds. We had to wait for the intervals when the rain stopped. I played a number of famous guzheng music such as Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (aka China’s Romeo and Juliet), and with the help of my two friends, LI Jiaqi and WU Xiaoya, we managed to disseminate our performance information sheets, speaking to people passing by. I hope that I had introduced the beauty of the guzheng music and that would encourage greater appreciation for Chinese guzheng culture. Also, through sharing my passion for this traditional instrument, I hope to inspire others to explore and learn more about the diverse cultural traditions of our world.
Do you have any plans for the following up outdoor performances?
Not yet, as I need to complete my assignments first. But I would like to do so when the weather becomes nicer, ideally in the third semester when my courses all end and I can focus on my dissertation writing up, with guzheng performance as part of my social life. I also look forward to doing it on campus if there are suitable events that I can contribute to.
Finally, we would like to thank Mengjia for sharing her Instagram account with us, which includes a video clip of her performance on the day! You are welcome to share your thoughts and comments with us in the reply box below or with Ying on her social media.
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.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you? Different people may have different focuses. At Queen’s, the campaign theme for this year is #EmbraceEquity
Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity
Today, we are pleased to introduce WANG Xinxin, a Queen’s School of Law student (LLM candidate in International Commercial & Business Law) to share her feel of being a departing daughter from her family, a female international student with great passion for her study and intercultural life in Belfast and elsewhere, through quoting the lines from one of her favourite ancient poems, the Ballad of Mulan.
We also thank WANG Xinxin for kindly sharing her Instagram account with us, which includes a video clip of greeting messages to her family and to all, in Chinese. If you have difficulties in understanding Mandarin, just click this Instagram post to read the English lines she added in the comment area.
We would like to invite all to come join in this is a special day of greeting and a call for celebration. Tell us how you celebrate this special day in the reply box below. We would love to hear more stories from you, too.
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.