Happy International Dance Day

国际舞蹈日快乐 (Guójì Wǔdǎo Rì kuàilè)!

About the International Dance Day 国际舞蹈日简介

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.

1982年,国际戏剧协会ITI旗下舞蹈委员会成立国际舞蹈日这一艺术节日,日期定在每年的4月29日,这一天也是现代芭蕾之父Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810)的诞辰日。 每年的国际舞蹈日都会有一位杰出的舞蹈界人士撰写献辞。献辞的目的在于庆祝舞蹈这一能够跨越政治、文化、种族障碍,能够将人们聚在一起的全球共通的艺术形式。

Internationaldanceday.org
To view the online performances, click the link above in the Quote.

Dancing at Queen’s

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.

Happy Lantern Festival

Happy Lantern Festival! 元宵节快乐!

With thanks to our students Chen and Yuhang who shared the beautiful lantern photos taken in Belfast, we would like to wish you all a happy and healthy year!

Today is the Lantern Festival, which marks the first full moon of the new lunar year and the end of the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) celebration period. We hope you have enjoyed our Year of the Tiger celebration events so far, and welcome you to continue with our Chinese Culture Forum, with two cultural talks remaining in February (16th and 23rd).

For upcoming events, please follow our Chinese Culture Forum 2022 for updates.

Chinese Sign Language Dance

The Chinese New Year is conventionally known as Spring Festival (春节 chūnjié) in China, which welcomes the arrival of spring despite of the cold weather that remains. People are full of hope for a new start in their life when the world comes back to life.

With thanks to our talented graduate Tang LI, we hope that you will be able to enjoy this melody and beautiful Chinese sign language dance.

Song: Early Spring (《春三月》)

Performer: Tang LI, graduate from Queen’s University Management School

For better effect, you may watch it from Youtube.
For audience from mainland China, you may watch this performance by click this link.

The meaning and translation of the Chinese sign language dance:

niǎo’r rào zhǐyuān shēngshēng sù
鸟儿 绕  纸鸢   声声    诉 The birds dance with the paper kite, cooing and wooing.
sānyuè lái bǎi cǎo kāi
三  月  来  百  草  开  The grass blooms in March
yíng xiāng mǎn xiù wàn wù sū
盈   香    满  袖  万  物 苏   The air is full of fragrance as the earth comes back to life.
chóng míng hé zhe huānxiào xīnshì shū
虫    鸣   和 着  欢笑   心事  舒  The insects sing cheerfully, with no worries in mind.
sānyuè lái nuǎn yáng fù
三  月  来  暖   阳   复   The world has warmed since March
xiāng xié qù tàqīng chù
相    携  去 踏青   处  as the people venture out, a new green world to find
mò shàng huā kāi mǎn lù xiāng rù tǔ
陌 上    花  开  满  路 香    入 土 Flowers bloom everywhere alongside the paths and the soil was soaked with incense.
sānyuè lái yǒu guī rén
三  月  来  有  归  人  As people return in March
mǎ tà qiǎn cǎo shēng cuīcù
马 踏 浅   草  声    催促 with horses treading the shallow grass,
chūn yǒu qī guī yǒu rì
春   有  期 归  有  日 Spring has its term and people know to expect it.
jīn guī tú
今  归  途 As people return again
sānyuè lái shēng qíngsù
三  月  来  生    情愫     They plant their sentiment in March
chūn gāng fù
春   刚   复  As Spring arrives again
qíng rù gǔ 
情   入 骨  The sentiment is so profound that it has been rooted to the people’s bones
jiè lǚ dōng fēng hù sù
借  缕 东   风   互 诉   whispering to one another through the spring breeze
xiāng ài mù
相    爱 慕   their love and affection for each other.

New Year greetings and melody

虎年大吉!春节快乐!

With thanks to Queen’s students DENG Wei (邓维), and QIAO Zexuan (乔泽轩) for coming together to produce this Celtic/Chinese inspired performance to welcome the arrival of the Spring Festival.

For audience from mainland China, you can access the video via this link.

We would also like to share our President and Vice-Chancellor’s New Year greeting with you all. In his message, Prof Ian Greer points out that Tiger loves adventure and challenge – the two characteristics will take you afar here at Queen’s. It’s not that you have to be always the strongest – life is that using all skills you have and those you’ve learned to take you further.

For audience from mainland China, you can access the video via this link.

We hope you enjoy a happy and healthy year ahead and look forward to welcoming you to our CNY celebrations launch event on Wednesday 02/02 and the culture talks that follow.

Happy Year of The Tiger

虎年快乐!Hǔnián kuàilè!

The Language Centre at Queen’s and the BAME&I Staff Network invite staff, students, as well as members of the public, to join in welcoming the Year of The Tiger, which falls on Tuesday 1 February, with a variety of online cultural celebrations that explore the theme of Connectedness and Inclusion.

The launch event is scheduled between 13:00 and 14:15 on Wed 2 February featuring welcomes, cultural performances and a guest talk, followed by a variety of culture talks in the following weeks, as part of the Chinese Culture Forum 2022. All welcome!

The online Art Exhibition, in collaboration with the ArtEast Club, is open for viewing now. You are very welcome to leave your thoughts and votes for the ones you like best from each other the artists.

For the full programme and registration links, visit Chinese Culture Programme 2022.

Spring Festival Couplets

Writing Spring Festival Couplets (春联 chūnlián) and characters such as Fu (福 fú, fortune) and the character of the due zodiac sign, is one of the most common and important customs when celebrating Chinese New Year among Chinese households both home and abroad.

We are grateful to our guest calligrapher, Mr Xiaodong Huang, Director of Tian Yingzhang Calligaphy Academy (Shenzhen), to demonstrate his calligraphy with the greeting message through Spring Festival Couplets and hope you enjoy it.

For audience from mainland China, you can click this link to watch the video.

[Script] A Spring Festival greeting from Shenzhen, China.
[Sound] On the arrival of the New Year, I wish you all a year of power and forth, and that all your hopes become true.

0:17 [script] The arrival of the New Year brings the fortune to us. The character Fu means fortune and it’s coming.

0:37 [script] There are many ways of writing the character Fu (福 fú, fortune).

1:08 [script] The regular script of writing the character of Hu (虎 hǔ, tiger).

1:48 [script] The semi-cursive script of writing the character of Hu (虎 hǔ, tiger)

2:14 [script] The cursive script of writing the character of Hu (虎 hǔ, tiger)

2:27 [script] There is no Spring Festival without spring couplet. The first half reads ‘The golden tiger brings its power to powder the spring’ in meaning.

4:32 [script] The second half reads ‘The great fortune blesses peace at the transition between the old and new years’.

5:30 [sound] A Chinese folk song starts

6:30 [script] The title of spring couplet reads ‘Awe-inspiring grandeur remains forever’.

Paper Tiger Workshop

It is customary that Chinese households will do house decorations by putting paper crafts of folding or cutting on windows before the new year arrives. As the year to come is Tiger, we invited Zhuoya ZHANG, a master student majoring in Film from School of Arts, English and Languages to show and tell how to make paper tiger crafts.

The workshop is followed by a series of cultural events covering a wide range of topics.

All welcome!

Laba Festival and CNY 2022

Happy Laba Festival!

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, falls on today 10th January. It is often seen as the signal of the arrival of the Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival).

On the day, in many places across China, mainly the north, northwest and southeast, people cook and eat Laba congee (腊八粥 làbā zhōu), 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.

Here are some examples of what some local Chinese families prepared. If you have cooked your own Laba congee, you are welcome to share your photos with us.

2022 CNY celebrations at Queen’s – calling for participation

This year the Chinese New Year falls on Tuesday 1st February, when the transition from Ox to Tiger takes place.

The Language Centre at Queen’s would like to take this opportunity to invite all our students, staff members, as well as members of the public, to join in our celebrations of the Year of the Tiger. As we have been continuously working hard to turn things around for a better future, we welcome mighty powers gathered by each and every one of you through the theme of Connectedness and Inclusion. The Chinese New Year is such an occasion we choose to celebrate cultural diversity, in which the Chinese community, together with the other ethnic groups, has done its best to embrace the challenges.

Image@JeanJing

To extend our reach to diverse communities and to ensure a more inclusive programme, we would like to invite you, students and staff, Chinese and non-Chinese, to share your passions through participation and to express your interest to help enrich our programme by considering contributing to one or more of the following options:

  • Cultural demo and performance – short recordings of various types of cultural demo and performances, including music, singing, dance, calligraphy, magic, martial arts, anticraft, and many more.
  • Culture forum and workshop/exhibition – live or recorded culture talks, workshops and exhibitions. The Chinese Culture Forum runs throughout the year and updates on a monthly basis.
  • Festival greeting and gratitude – send us textual, graphic, audio-visual messages that contain Chinese New Year greetings and gratitude on a personal or collective level.

For more information on culture talks, please click Chinese Culture Programme. To express your interest and discuss your potential form(s) of contribution, feel free to contact us by filling the Comment box below.

To share with us your intercultural experience and perspectives of a broader range of themes and topic, please consider joining our Chinese Language Interest Group as contributors.

Happy International Tea Day

Cha or Tea? This is not a question in the Chinese context – it’s 茶 (chá) officially, while te (tea) is a dialect from southeast coastal areas like Fujian and Taiwan. So 茶 (chá) exported alongside the ancient silk road (by land) has been called as cha or any of the variants in those areas whereas 茶 (chá) exportation by sea has been pronounced as tea.

Eteamology
From Flickr @Eteamology

Tea is the world’s most consumed drink, after water. It is believed that tea originated in northeast India, north Myanmar and southwest China, but the exact place where the plant first grew is not known. Tea has been with us for a long time. There is evidence that tea was consumed in China 5,000 years ago.

The UN

Culture talk on Chinese tea at Queen’s

Did you still remember that we had organised a culture talk on Chinese tea in the year of Mouse at Queen’s?

Speaker Beidi Wang (second from right) with some of the audience celebrating CNY after the talk at the McClay Library, QUB
The introduction of tea history by Beidi Wang, QUB MBA graduate

The art of serving tea

Q1. What are the four essential elements in tea serving?

a) 茶叶 chá yè (tea leaves)
b) 茶具 chá jù (tea set)
c) 牛奶 niú nǎi (milk)
d) 水 shuǐ (water)
e) 火候 huǒhou (heat)
f) 糖 táng (sugar)
g) 蜂蜜 fēngmì (honey)

Q2. When you are served tea in front of you, what are you supposed to do to express your courtesy?

a) Say ‘谢谢 (xièxie, thank-you)’.
b) Drink it as soon as it is served.
c) Leave it untouched until cooled down.
d) Use your fingers to ‘koutou’ on the table as if bowing to someone.

Practising serving tea at a tea house in Suzhou. Image @LiangWANG

A survey

Nǐ xǐhuan hē chá ma
1) 你喜欢喝茶吗?(Do you like drinking tea?)

Nǐ xǐhuan hē shénme chá
2) 你喜欢喝什么茶?(What type of tea do you like drinking?)

Let us know your answers in the reply box.

World Table Tennis Day

Happy World Table Tennis Day! 国际乒乓球日快乐 (Guójì Pīngpāngqiú Rì Kuàilè)!

Did you know that World Table Tennis Day is celebrated annually on 6th April since 2015, which also marks the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace?

From ITTF

Did you know that table tennis, or 乒乓球 (pīngpāngqiú) in Chinese, is considered the national game in China? And did you know that Chinese has become sort of a common language (unofficially) that many top players of the world are using it, especially at international games? Did you know why table tennis play shouted ‘cho’ at their match?

Actually ‘cho’ is not the Chinese spelling of the pronunciation, instead, it should be ‘ (qiú)‘ which means ball. In its more complete sense it should be ‘好球 (hǎo qiú)’ – lit. good ball (good point, well played) – in Chinese, a typical way of cheering for themselves when scoring. 好 (hǎo) tends to give a weak sound in the syllable and it is often omitted in competitions. So, shouting ‘球 (qiú)’ or ‘cho’ has become a fashion and trend in many international table tennis matches where Chinese players compete.

Then, how to encourage players in a competition, especially when they are in great difficulties, in Chinese? Here are some simple phrases for you to grasp:

  • 加油 (jiāyóu) – lit. add oil; come on, go for it
  • 别放弃 (bié fàngqì) – Don’t give up!
  • 你能行 (nǐ néng xíng) – You can do it!
  • 坚持就是胜利 (jiānchí jiù shì shènglì) – Perseverance leads to victory!

Did you also know that at Queen’s we have a QUB Table Tennis Team (multinational) and there used to be a Chinese team of students and staff members? If they played against each other, which team do you hope to win? Learn how to express hope in Chinese now:

Copyright@LiangWang
  • 女王大学乒乓球队 (Nǚwáng Dàxué Pīngpāngqiúduì) – Queen’s University Table Tennis Team
  • 中国师生队 (Zhōngguó shīshēngduì) – Chinese Student-Staff Team
  • – 你希望哪个球队赢 (nǐ xīwàng nǎ ge qiúduì yíng)?Which team do you hope to win?
  • – 我希望…… (wǒ xīwàng…) I hope …

So, which team do you hope to win? Give your answer by using the structure and phrases above and get some practice.

Of course, in many games, we just want to play for fun and to develop friendship. So in this context, we would say ‘friendship first, competition second’ – 友谊第一,比赛第二 (yǒuyì dì yī, bǐsài dì èr).

CNY celebration 2017 at Queen’s – Table Tennis Taster Event at PEC

Finally, we hope that you will like table tennis game and join us for fun at some time.

CNY celebration 2017 at Queen’s – Table Tennis Taster Event at PEC
  • 我们喜欢乒乓球 (wǒmen xǐhuan pīngpāngqiú)!

Want to learn more Chinese? Check the Language Centre website for Mandarin Chinese course registration information.

Reminder: Registration will close promptly at 17:00 on Thursday 15 April. Classes are expected to be extremely popular and usually fill up quickly, so early registration is strongly recommended.