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)!
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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).
On the day, in many places across China, mainly the north, northwest and southeast, people cook and eat Laba congee (腊八粥 làbāzhōu), 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Author: Ruinan PENG Editors: Lauren McShane and Liang WANG
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.
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:
Eid al-Adha (古尔邦节 Gǔ’ěrbāng jié, 宰牲节 zǎishēng jié), which is considered one of the two Eid festivals observed by Muslims (穆斯林 Mùsīlín) each year, is celebrated on 10th Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th month in Islamic calendar, all over the world.
The festival commemorates the story of Prophet Ibrahim (先知 易卜拉辛 xiānzhī Yìbǔlāxīn) and his willingness to sacrifice (牺牲 xīshēng) his son as an act of obedience to Allah (真主 Zhēnzhǔ). This year, the Belfast Islamic Centre (BIC) together with the Belfast Multi-Cultural Association (BMCA) held an Eid Festival in the Botanic Gardens on Wednesday 28th June 2023.
Ying GAO (高莹), one of Queen’s Management School students, enjoyed her participation in the celebration of Eid al-Adha. Below is what she described and the photos shared in her social media:
My Muslim classmates invited me to join this event as of the biggest celebrations of their calendar. In the morning, there was Eid Al-Adha salah (礼拜 lǐbài), summoning hundreds of believers to come to pray together. After the salah, my friends and I went to see various stalls displaying traditional items: Henna, Halal food (清真食物 qīngzhēn shíwù) to purchase, and face painting. Everyone dressed up in modesty for the festival. Traditional clothing options for women for Eid are Abaya and Headscarf. For men, it is Thwab with Ghutra and Igaal. I wore a cheongsam (旗袍 qípáo) to attend the event and wowed my friend. They showed me around in the garden, introduced me to their friends, and introduced me to different kinds of food. I love the traditional dessert (甜品tián pǐn) called bakhlava. Studying in Queen’s gives me a good chance to explore and understand different cultures, creating memorable experiences.
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.
Are you a Chinese student planning to study Nursing at Queen’s? On this IND we invite Sun Xingge (孙邢格), one of our few Chinese MSc students in Advanced Professional and Clinical Practice from School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast, to share her experience of Nursing study and work in Belfast.
With a Queen’s charted flight during the COVID-19 pandemic, I started my nursing journey at Queen’s and after two years I successfully got my MSc degree in 2023. That, however, is far from the end of my journey. I have won the international studentship from the Department for Economy in Northern Ireland, which will fully fund my PhD studies at QUB. So, my journey with Queen’s will continue…
I have been studying nursing for six years since my undergraduate study in Zhengzhou University. I am a qualified nurse in China. In the UK, I have practised at the Ulster Hospital as a student nurse and worked as a healthcare assistant in a care home in Belfast. In 2022, I also visited the Princess Maxima Center for Pediatric Oncology in the Netherlands as a nursing student. Currently, I work as a research assistant in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at QUB and will continue to do PhD study here from this October on.
My nursing journey has been great in Belfast and QUB. I have enjoyed studying and working in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, which has given me so much support in so many different areas.
Studying at Queen’s and in Belfast
Language Support: As international students, we need to improve our English academic writing. Our School understands this well and provides us with Academic English courses. Within one year’s programme, the courses involve critical thinking, proofreading, presentation skills, reference styles, and many more. We are also able to book a one-to-one tutorial if we have any questions. In addition, our tutor celebrated festivals with all the international students together, such as the Chinese New Year celebration event, which was very rewarding.
Photo credit: SUN Xingge
Dissertation Support: I was able to choose a supervisor according to my dissertation topic. Luckily, I had two very professional supervisors who are also very patient with me. They arranged meetings with me every two weeks starting in November 2021 to guide me through doing a systematic review. During this period, they gave me feedback promptly and answered any other questions from academic support to mental health.
Research Support: As a postgraduate student, our School provides us with studentship research schemes with 1200 GBP stipend for 3 months. There are five research projects recruiting students to join each semester. For students who would like to pursue PhD studies in the future, this is a good opportunity to accumulate research experience. Luckily, I joined two schemes. I worked with a professional research team with a focus on kidney diseases. During this period, the research project supervisors arranged regular meetings, shared study materials, and taught me different research methods, which have enhanced my research abilities.
Facilities and resources: There are four libraries at QUB. I can self-study and also book a study room for group study at any of them. As a nursing student, I can access the medical library easily to borrow books relevant to my modules. There are also many online resources on Queen’s My Future platform, accessible to all students, which help me learn different skills, for example, how to build an advanced search using different databases, and how to use Endnote to manage my research results.
Working at Queen’s and elsewhere
Career Support: Notably, Queens also offers you further career support, such as booking a free career consultation via My Future. I also registered as a worker at Qwork. This platform provides job positions for internal applicants, which I strongly recommend.
In terms of clinical practice, the School of Nursing and Midwifery also provides us students with clinical placement to experience the medical system in the UK firsthand. I thoroughly enjoyed my practice in the Medical Acute Unit, at Ulster Hospital, as a student nurse.
I worked with a multidisciplinary team in an English-speaking environment. I participated in the ward handover, provided personal care for patients, and wrote clinical notes under the supervision of my clinical facilitator. After 6 weeks of clinical placement, I gained good experience which would help me seek a clinical part-time job in Belfast.
With great luck I applied for and successfully attended the summer school in Holland through My Future. During the summer holiday in 2022, I attended the Princess Maxima Center for Pediatric Oncology to study childhood cancer for a week. While I started to better understand the European medical system, I was able to communicate with medical students from all over the world, who shared their innovative ideas and opinions for further medical development, which have brought diverse viewpoints and opinions that uplifted my outlook on nursing.
In addition, I worked at a care home for 10 months in Belfast. It was a very memorable experience for me. I provided basic care for the residents and did the daily food management and safety checks. My employer also offered me online and offline training, including first aid, infection control, and fall prevention. I have not only gained professional knowledge but also the skills of care, communication, problem-solving, and teamwork, as well as enhanced my oral English. The work helped me to better understand the medical system and professional culture in the UK.
In retrospect, my studies at Queen’s has made a huge difference in my life. All the lecturers and tutors at the School of Nursing and Midwifery are professional and supportive. My life has very fulfilling at QUB and in Belfast. I take advantage of my free time to travel to a lot of countries. I have been to France, Germany, Finland, Holland, Ireland, Italy, etc. I am so grate for my funder, supervisors, families, and friends who have helped me develop great passion for my personal and professional growth alongside my Nursing journey!
Photo credit: SUN Xingge
Contributor: SUN Xingge Editors: Lauren McShane and WANG Liang