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.

Happy International Women’s Day

Aside

国际妇女节快乐 (Guójì Fùnǚjié kuàilè)!

International Women’s Day is held on 8th March each year and is a global day which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is a day to mark a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Worldwide, groups and organisations come together to celebrate women’s achievements or to rally for women’s equality. 

From Queen’s Gender Initiative

On Friday 5th March, we hosted the last event of CNY2021 celebration, Panel Discussion – The joy of women artists with brush pens during lockdown, which also marked the celebration of International Women’s Day. We were glad that a wide audience of Queen’s students, staff members and members of the public were positively engaged with the artists, sharing their excellent exhibition as well as their positive life attitude.

Top: Lili Li and Jean Jing; Bottom: Jieyu Li and Wenli Zhang

We would also like to express our heart-felt thanks to you who have been engaged, as both contributors and audience, with our CNY celebrations starting from the paper crafts workshop, through the Launch day event featuring performance and a guest talk on Great Books of China, followed by a two-week-long culture forum talks from an array of interesting topics delivered by scholars and research students from across a range of disciplines and diverse cultural backgrounds.

All the recorded talks, including the ArtEast exhibition and discussion, coupled with flashcards of Chinese as language input, are uploaded online for reviewing. We hope this will encourage continuation of such conversations.

Finally, while we are in preparation for our future events, we may wish that the Year of the Ox brings us strength and success!

Continue reading

CNY2021 celebrations continue

Happy Niu 牛 Year! We have had a great launch of CNY2021 last Friday!

Thanks for many of you who joined in our CNY2021 celebration launch event last Friday. It was a great opportunity for us to get together in a different way to previous years, and it was great fun being with you! In particular, we would like to thank the volunteers who performed for us, and Dr Frances Wood who shared an interesting and inviting topic on Great Books of China. We hope you all have enjoyed it!

If you missed it, you can view the main parts of the programme via the following link.

What’s on?

At the launch we proudly introduced two exhibitions – the ArtEast Exhibition and Sir Robert Hart Exhibition, both of which are freely accessible online for your appreciation. The ArtEast exhibition will end with an online panel discussion on Friday 5th March. Your thoughts and comments are welcome and we look forward to seeing you in the panel discussion.

What’s coming?

Our CNY Culture Forum 2021 will start from Tuesday 16th February until Friday 26th February, covering a wide range of topics shared by scholars and students from AHSS and EPS. You are mostly welcome to join in some sessions, if not all, to enrich conversations within our multicultural campus. We also welcome more people to contribute to the Chinese Culture Forum which remains an ongoing platform of sharing knowledge and enhancing intercultural communication. For full details and registration, click the button below.

CNY Programme out

Happy Year of the Ox! 牛年快乐!

With the start of the Year of the Ox fast approaching, we are planning to see the Chinese New Year slightly differently this year with a number of online talks and events in the coming weeks. You are welcome to attend all of these events, including the featured CNY Launch event with cultural performances and an invited talk on Great Books of China (Friday 12/02), as well as a series of online sessions in the coming weeks, covering a diverse selection of topics and a paper crafts workshop, and an art exhibition with panel discussion. For more information on the programme of events, click here: