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)

Happy UN Chinese Language Day

The date for the Chinese day was selected from Guyu (“Rain of Millet”), which is the 6th of 24 solar terms in the traditional East Asian calendars, to pay tribute to Cangjie. Cangjie is a very important figure in ancient China, claimed to be an official historian of the Yellow Emperor and the inventor of Chinese characters. Legend has it that he had four eyes and four pupils, and that when he invented the characters, the deities and ghosts cried and the sky rained millet. From then on, Chinese people celebrate the day Guyu in honour of Cangjie. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around April 20.

The UN

On this occasion we provide this special edition to invite you to join us in celebrating the charm of the Chinese language – in its written form through calligraphy and spoken form through recitation.

SONG Yihui (宋一卉), a recently graduated doctoral student from School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, has a number of hobbies rooted in traditional Chinese culture, including calligraphy, classic dancing and Hanfu costume. Below she tells us how she has maintained her practice of Chinese calligraphy since childhood.

I first learned calligraphy when I was eight years old, probably because of my curiosity facilitated by my parents. At that time, I started from learning to write the basic strokes – horizontal and vertical, which required a lot of patience and perseverance. I was so envious of other fellows who could exercise their skillful hands freely. However, after learning Yan-style of calligraphy for three years when I wrote with more confidence, I had to put down my brush and switched my full attention to my study which became more demanding. It was not until in my college time that I picked up my brush again with my genuine passion for calligraphy. This flame of enthusiasm has been kept for my life in the UK. When I was packing up my luggage, I had no hesitation to include my beloved set of calligraphy treasures in the suitcase.

To me, calligraphy is a journey of time and space through the written form of our language, with which I could always conduct spiritual dialogues with our ancestors thousands of years ago.

Below is a selected collection of Yihui’s calligraphic works.

WEI Ziqing (魏子晴) is currently doing MA Interpreting at the School of Arts, English and Language. Among her many talents she has a strong passion for recitation. In the recent QUB Multilingual Poetry and Music Festival she contributed to the event by doing a Chinese poetry recitation – ‘The Chinese Language’. With her kind permission, we invite her to share with us her recitation.

To be honest, my performance on the day was not really as perfect as I thought. However, I found that at least three girls from the audience were moved to tears, to my great surprise. One of the girls later said to me that even though she could not understand the language, her heart was greatly touched by the sound of language and she couldn’t help shedding tears.

Below is the Ziqing’s Instagram post on her recitation, followed by the bilingual text versions.

中国话
有一种语言,它 很神秘,它蕴涵着一个民族上下几千年 悲喜交加的情感;

有一种语言,它很古老,古老到那刻在骨头上的文字里都找不到 它的起源;

有一种语言,它很丰富,阴阳上去中 回荡着 慷慨激昂 倾诉着 温宛 缠绵;

这,便是中国话,

一个古老的 东方神话!

中国话,

是如诗如画的表达,

“树索索而摇枝,马得得而驰骋”

——哪一种语言  

有 如此逼真的描摹?

“落霞与孤鹜齐飞,秋水 共长天一色”

——哪一种语言  

能说出如此图画般的美丽?

“春江潮水连海平,海上明月共潮生⋯⋯”

——哪一种语言 能有 如此动听的节律?

“我失骄阳君失柳,杨柳轻扬直上重霄九”

——哪一种语言

能一语译透你丰厚的含义?

中国话 是中国人

心灵深处的吐纳。

是屈原的长叹 ,项羽的啸吼

是李白的浪漫 ,杜甫的讥讽,

是“五四”前夜,

李大钊在拊掌欢呼

《庶民的胜利》,

是面对敌人的屠刀,

鲁迅在指斥《无声的中国》,

是迎着特务的枪弹,

闻一多拍案而起,弘扬正义!

是礼炮声中毛泽东庄严宣告:民族 站起!

那黄河的不羁和刚强,是中国话!

那长江的奔放和潇洒,是中国话!

那大山的雄武,高原的粗犷,是中国话!

那江南的温柔,水乡的秀雅,是中国话!

听,中国话正在通过我的喉头在联合国的讲台上响起

–那么亲切,优美,

—那么有力,伟大!

中国话 你属于一个伟大的民族,

一个朝阳升腾的天地!

我爱你,我们的 中国话!!!

The Chinese Language
There is a language – it is very mysterious and contains the emotional ups and downs of a nation for thousands of years;

There is a language – it is so ancient that its origin cannot be found in the characters engraved in bones;

There is a language – it is very rich, resonating with generosity and passion, warmth and tenderness in the alternation of Yin and Yang;

This is the Chinese language.

An ancient oriental myth!

Chinese language

is an expression like poetry and painting.

‘The trees rustle and shake their branches, The horses gallop and run freely.’

–which language 

has such a vivid illustration?

“Rosy evening clouds and the lonely duck fly together; The autumn water shares the same colour with the sky.”

–which language can tell such picturesque beauty?

‘The spring tide of the river joins the sea, and the bright moon rises with the tide on the sea…’

–Which language can have such an enchanting rhythm?

“I’ve lost my sun, you’ve lost your willow, the willow lightly rises to the Ninth Heaven”

–what other language

Can translate the richness of your meaning in one word?

Chinese language is the breathing of the Chinese people’s soul.

It is the long sigh of Qu Yuan, the roar of Xiang Yu,

The romance of Li Bai, the irony of Du Fu.

It is Li Dazhao cheering and applauding
“The Victory of the Common People” on the eve of May Fourth Movement,

It is Lu Xun criticizing “The Silent China” in the face of enemy’s butcher’s knife,

It is Wen Yiduo rising up and promoting justice in the face of bullets from secret agents,

It is Mao Zedong solemnly declaring “The Chinese nation has stood up!” amidst the sound of salute.

The recklessness and fortitude of the Yellow River is Chinese language!

The unrestrained and boldness of the Yangtze River is Chinese language!

The magnificence of the mountains, the ruggedness of the plateau, is Chinese language!

The gentleness of the south of the Yangtze River, the elegance of the water town, is Chinese language!

Listen, the Chinese language is echoing through my voice on the podium of the United Nations

-So friendly, beautiful,

-So powerful, great!

Chinese language , you belong to a great nation, a world where the sun rises!

I love you, our Chinese language!

Sign up for a Chinese course

If you would like to learn more about the beauty of the Chinese language and are interested in attending a course, you are welcome to check our courses below and register as soon as you can. The cutting off date is rightly on Thursday 20 April, the UN Chinese Language Day! Don’t miss out!

More cultural events updated

The first half of the CNY celebrations went on extremely well, featuring the student-led Interactive Chinese Culture Displays and Demos, the CNY2023 Launch Event, and the art exhibitions both online and in-person. We would like to send our ‘thank-you’ to all of you who have contributed, participated in and helped with promotion. We hope that you have enjoyed yourselves.

In the following part of the CNY Programme, we continue to warmly welcome you to attend a series of culture talks, a fun time table tennis event and a guzheng introductory workshop. All QUB students and staff members are welcome!

More information and registration

Click below for registration and viewing the full programme

Tasting the Rabbit

Interactive Chinese Cultural Display and Demo

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.

Timeline

§ 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.

International Volunteer Day

Happy International Volunteer Day!

Highlighting the power of collective humanity to drive positive change through volunteerism, the UN Volunteers (UNV) programme coordinates IVD on 5 December annually to recognize and promote the tireless work, not just of UN Volunteers, but of volunteers across the globe.

UN

The Queen’s Chinese Blog, on behalf of the The Language Centre and The iRise Staff Network, would like to send our best wishes to all those, students and alumni, who have supported us in one way or another on a voluntary basis, for the yearly Chinese language and culture events on campus and elsewhere. It has been a wonderful experience of working with you, which has proved a series of journey logs that we have learned from each other, built up solidarity and mutual respect.

Call for volunteers

As the Year of the Rabbit is fast approaching, 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.

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

More opportunities to volunteer at Queen’s

Related reading

Double 11th Day

Double 11th Day (the 11th of November), more widely known as Chinese Singles’ Day, was invented by some young Chinese college students in the early 90s, who were singles longing for love and affection to end their bachelor’s (pun. single/degree) life before their graduation. However, it has now been switched to the commercial side of it – shopping. More and more businesses have started their marketising of the Day as an important occasion of selling their products and service.

Queen’s alumnus, LU Yi (卢艺), BSc in Accounting (2011-2014), has shared his thoughts on the changing phenomenon of the Double 11th Day celebrations

What I feel about this day is that actually it is not just one day of crazy selling and buying. It’s a season which has started as early as the beginning of November when one could feel the air of massive advertising and promotion. People have already started placing orders in order to secure the Double 11th Day discounts and pay in full by that day.

However, I think that the original sense of celebrating the Double 11th Day has received less attention, probably because nowadays young people start to fall in love earlier than people did in the past. In addition, I think it also reflects the changing social attitude towards those who choose to remain single, from being opposing to becoming tolerant and accepting. More and more young people would agree with the social phenomenon that being alone is their freedom, a decision they want to make for themselves rather than following traditional family value and surrendering to social pressure.

So, how did LU Yi spend his Double 11th Day this year?

The timer LU Yi set for remembering the phenomenal moment

Well, haha, I’ve got married at the beginning of this year so I’m no longer a bachelor – no need to celebrate. But I did place a couple of orders to buy something useful – a pair of trainers for badminton play, a down jacket to keep me warm during winter, and a set of earphones, altogether having a discount of 20%. That’s it.

All images belong to LU Yi.

Related reading

Queen’s Chinese alumni, what did you buy for Double 11th Day? And Chinese students at Queen’s, what are you going to order for the Black Friday and Christmas shopping overall? Tell us by leaving your comments below!

Volunteering for wellbeing

Starting from October 30th on, the whole country has officially entered its wintertime. Have you started to feel depression and loneliness because of the early darkness, wet weather and fast-approaching assignment deadlines? Have you ever wondered how long this awful wintertime will actually last before you can regain your peace of mind?

We are pleased to welcome Sun Xingge (孙邢格), MSc candidate in Advanced Professional and Clinical Practice from School of Nursing and Midwifery, to share her fresh experience of joining the Student Union’s (学生会 xuéshēnghuì) Volunteering (志愿行动 zhìyuàn xíngdòng) and Wellbeing (安康 ānkāng) Fair hosted on Wednesday 2nd November.

It’s been amazing that Queen’s Student Union hosted this Volunteering and Wellbeing Fair at this time of the year as it sets a goal to make us aware of the importance of taking care of ourselves and others. From 12pm to 4pm at the Mandela Hall, One Elmwood, I took part in wellbeing activities like dog petting, crafting, DJ taster session, yoga and more, which was lots of fun and a fantastic feel-good experience.

But it’s about more than just having fun. As a Nursing student I’m keen to meet a range of not-for-profit organisations (非盈利组织 fēi yínglì zǔzhī) to find out about the opportunities available to me, to meet new friends, to discover new interests, to build my confidence, all through participating in volunteering. I believe that this could help me gain invaluable experience for my life and my future career. For example, I had a chance to join the simulation game of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR, 心肺复苏 xīnfèi fùsū), which has updated me with the key steps of undertaking CPR.

Flowerpot design

Among the many activities, I particularly enjoyed the flowerpot designing activity, as I had the luxury of choosing from loads of flowers to design my own flowerpot, which really stimulated my imagination and increased my sense of achievement. When I was focusing on flowerpot designing, I actually tended to forget all my worries and felt much relaxed. I chose orange as the theme color and picked up sunflowers, roses, and daisies, which represent sunshine and hope. After finishing making the pot, I brought my product home and presented it to my friend as a little surprise (小惊喜 xiǎo jīngxǐ). She was so grateful (感激 gǎnjī; 领情 lǐng qíng) and loved my gift. See, my joy from making this flowerpot and my friend’s joy of receiving my little gift has already awarded me double happiness (双倍快乐 shuāngbèi kuàilè) during the day.

Free food and healthy diet

In addition to flowerpot designing, I also appreciated being advised to follow a healthy diet (健康饮食 jiànkāng yǐnshí), which turns out to be a crucial thing for us all as it is one of the main ways to improve our physical and mental health. I was impressed by the provision with free (免费 miǎnfèi) hot lunch boxes (a selection between chicken and vegan curry) and a great variety of free healthy snacks at the fair – rice cakes, chickpeas, corn, and nuts, to name a few. The hot lunch box meant a lot to me because I’m so used to eating hot meal (热食 rèshí) when I was in China, especially since it made me feel warm during this cold winter, being distant from my home.

More student and wellbeing events

Contributor: SUN Xingge
Editors: Lauren McShane and WANG Liang

Happy Double Ninth Day

This year the Double Ninth Day, or 重阳节 (Chóngyángjié) in Chinese, falls on 4th October. It is traditionally an occasion for showing respect to the elderly or ancestors, as well as attaching special importance to families. One of the customary cultures of practice is to climb a hill to a high place (爬山登高 pá shān dēng gāo) and think of their departing family members with good wishes.

In contemporary times it is an occasion for outdoor exercising (户外运动 hùwài yùndòng) such as excursion (远足 yuǎn zú). In Belfast, the Cave Hill is such a great outdoor site for both local and international residents to go hiking. The photos below are from Ziqing Wei (魏子晴), a postgraduate in interpreting, who recently went out with her friends to climb the Cave Hill for fun.

‘远离城市的浮躁和喧嚣,感受大自然,在山顶眺望远方海天相接处,享受内心的宁静。’

Translation: It’s great to be able to distance myself from the hustle and bustle of the urban life and to appreciate the peace of mind when I can embrace the nature, looking afar from the top of the Hill until the end where the sky and the sea disappear into thin air.

Chinese course enrolment and call for volunteers

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.

Class schedule and registration links are accessible via Language Centre website.

Chinese language courses are offered from level 1 to level 5.

Call for volunteers

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.

Read the Chinese version here.