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.
The Duanwu (Dragon Boat) Festival falls on June 14 this year.
Duanwu Festival, 端午节 (Duānwǔ jié) in Chinese, is also widely known as Dragon Boat Festival 龙舟节 (Lóngzhōu jié) in the rest of the world, as one of its celebrative events – dragon boat race – has become so popular in the world. However, like last year due to pandemic lockdown in the UK, we are still unable to watch dragon boat races or to have cultural workshops on campus.
If you would like to review how we celebrated it in the past, here are some snapshots with links to full albums (via the Language Centre Facebook).
This time, while we cannot get together again, we have invited some staff and students to show and tell what they have done to celebrate the festival – making and eating zongzi 粽子(zòngzi), a typical type of food made of glutinous rice with sweet (e.g. dates, red bean paste) or savoury (e.g. pork, salted egg yolk) fillings wrapped up by bamboo or reed leaves, as the photos shown below.
In addition to the common festival greeting that you may say 快乐 kuàilè (happy), many Chinese people also choose to say 安康 ānkāng (peaceful and healthy) or 吉祥 jíxiáng (auspicious). This is because Duanwu Festival is considered having its origin from warding off diseases and illness mostly caused by the rising summer heat and humidity which invited the invasion of poisonous animals such as insects and reptiles. Therefore, you will be able to see people use a varied way of expressions:
端午节快乐！Duānwǔ jié kuàilè! – Happy Duanwu Festival!
端午节安康！Duānwǔ jié ānkāng! – Wish you a peaceful and healthy Duanwu Festival!
端午节吉祥！Duānwǔ jié jíxiáng! – Wish you an auspicious Duanwu Festival!
However, outside overseas Chinese communities, if dragon boat races are the only form of celebrations, i.e. beyond the context of traditional Chinese Duanwu culture, then people would find it normal to just express a happy festive greeting.
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.
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.
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!