As 2022 drew to an end, we wish everyone a happy and healthy 2023! We also would like to remind you that the Chinese New Year (CNY) – Year of the Rabbit – is fast approaching in three weeks’ time. How are you going to celebrate it?
CNY celebrations at Queen’s
We are pleased to let you know that the celebration programme at Queen’s has been underway, with a range of events to entertain all – students, staff members, as well as members of the public. You may find the CNY2023 Programme page via the link below and here are some activities for you to kick a start while more will be uploaded shortly.
In addition to our celebrations on campus, we would like to make you aware of the social celebration of Chinese New Year in Belfast, operated by Success Dragon and Lion Dance Association, a registered charity in Northern Ireland (Charity no. 105478), who had been supporting Queen’s celebrations before pandemic.
The Chinese New Year Celebration returns to the Ulster Hall Belfast on Sunday 22nd January 2023 celebrating the Year of Rabbit. Come to enjoy a day full of fun and joy, rich in Colours and Culture. With over 12 global dances and music not to be missed.
盛大的中國新年慶典再次重臨 Ulster Hall Belfast。 日期是一月廿二號星期日。超過十二個各式的民族表演包括舞龍舞獅，中國功夫和中國的傳統舞蹈表演等。請從速預訂門票！
Alan Lui, Master of The success Dragon & lion dance association
Please note that we are not involved in performances and ticket booking issues. All enquiries should be sent to the Association directly, following the contact information on the poster.
On Sunday 29th January the Ulster Museum will hosts this event including a selection of ArtEast NI members’ paintings displayed at the hall area from 12 pm on, and a talk/panel discussion at 2 pm on their themes, styles, and techniques, as well as their attitudes towards challenging lives throughout the pandemic period. There will also be an interactive workshop from 3 pm to encourage audience, especially those families with kids, to have some hands-on practice (e.g. painting, calligraphy, paper crafts) under the guidance of the artists.
Discovering Chinese Family Names and Dialects at QUB and elsewhere in Northern Ireland
This cultural survey is part of the programme for 2023 Chinese New Year Celebrations (CNY) at Queen’s. It invites Chinese-speaking staff members, students from Queen’s University, and members of the public who identify themselves with Chinese origin (e.g. early immigrants) to tell us their Chinese names and the dialects they speak. We hope to collect Chinese names with a focus on a variety of Chinese family names and the richness of the dialects they speak. The survey is to be filled in Chinese.
For members of non-Chinese speaking communities who have been learning/using Chinese, esp. who have a Chinese name, you are more than welcome to share with us your information (in English) in the corresponding section (Q1, Q2, Q5, Q6, Q7) as well.
The participation is voluntary and we will publish/present the result (family names and dialects only) on the Chinese@QUB Blog in due course. The cut-off date for this survey is the CNY date (Sunday 22nd January 2023).
The Language Centre has been proactively leading a number of language and culture-associated events, including the branded Chinese New Year celebrations, at Queen’s for years and we are looking to further engaging with students, staff members, as well as members of the public, to enable better inclusion and interaction.
To welcome the Year of the Rabbit (starting from Sun 22nd January 2023), we would like to invite you to join in this CNY2023 Drawing Competition with the theme of the Rabbit (Chinese character: 兔, pronounced as tù, similar to ‘too/two’). We believe that the image of rabbit is widely used in many arts forms, literatures, and modern designs in both Chinese and many other cultures, though the cultural connotations vary from one to another.
The drawing styles can be of any medium (such as sketching, oils, watercolour, sculpture, etc.) so long as they represent and reflect on your perceptions of the rabbit in your own or Chinese culture. All forms and techniques of presentation are encouraged.
The competition starts from the date when it is advertised and will close on Friday 13th January 2023. The finished drawings (one drawing each participant) should be saved as an electronic copy (JEPG/JPG format, max. 2MB) and emailed as an attachment to Dr Liang WANG at Liang.Wang@qub.ac.uk, using ‘CNY2023 Drawing Competition’ in the subject line. In the email, please briefly include a bio, including your name, your status (e.g. educational/professional background) and the illustration of your idea on the presentation.
All the entries will be uploaded online for exhibition. A judge panel will make a decision on the result which will be announced shortly after the closing date. The winners’ drawings may be used for further promotional purposes with acknowledgement. Prizes will be subsequently given out for collection.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
Congratulations for Yiming HUANG (黄一鸣), a third-year PhD candidate, who recently won the Talks Prize 1 at the 73rd Irish Universities Chemistry Research Colloquium!
There were 72 second year PhD students who gave poster presentations and 40 third year PhD students who gave talks…
It was my first time speaking at an open conference. Therefore I felt very lucky and honoured to be the only Chinese person to win the prize.
All of the PhD candidates in attendance were excellent in their research and most were from local universities in Ireland. Queen’s University Belfast was the only participating university from the UK, according to Yiming.
I’m with Prof. Steven E.J. Bell’s group, based in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. The primary area of study for our group is the development of novel nanomaterials for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). My talk at the conference focused on controlling nanoparticle aggregates for stable SERS, which is the project I worked on the entire previous year.
I believe the award could not have been given to me without the following factors. Firstly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my supervisor, Prof. Bell, for his excellent guidance in the content of my presentation during the preparation stage. He pointed out that rather than a bunch of data, people prefer to hear a complete story, which was really inspired me. Secondly, to keep the audience interested and prevent them from becoming tired of listening, I used some videos, cartoons and real-life photos to better illustrate my stuff. For example, I made a comparison between my polymer network with nanoparticle aggregates and noodles network with meatballs. In addition, I paid attention to the pace of my presentation and established eye contact with the audience rather than just talking to myself, which enabled the audience to follow my thoughts.
We hope that these tips will be of help to the new comers and also send our best wishes to Yiming for a great success in her PhD research and future career.
If you have similar stories to share with us your successes in study and work, you are very welcome to contact us by leaving your messages below in the comment box.
Co-hosting the Anjool Maldé Young Journalist Award, Queen’s University Belfast has jointly hosted the award ceremony at Queen’s Film Theatre to three Chinese students – Yilin CAO, Fangzhou YANG, Ya LI – all from School of Arts, English and Languages, majoring in Media and Broadcast Production.
About the Documentary
The documentary, ‘The Gift Tree‘, tells the story of Belfast’s ‘One Million Trees‘ environmental programme against the backdrop of Net-Zero Carbon Belfast plan. We made this documentary with the hope that it can reflect the value of a Net-Zero Carbon city and the need to protect the environment, thus calling on everyone to contribute to environmental protection.
Yilin, Fangzhou and Ya
In retrospect, the winners felt proud of being able to participate in, and contribute to, the competition that Queen’s University is involved in as a co-host. They further explained:
At one point, we saw an advertisement for admissions at Queen’s University, reporting that a student had won the award. This news aroused our great interest in choosing Queen’s for this course. We were really really amazed at seeing our names written on the award certificate this year. To be honest, being international students, producing a documentary and winning the prize takes a lot more effort than any home students will do because of the language barrier and communication across cultures. We had to get to know the places as quickly as possible, find the right people for interviews and understand and select the stories that deserve to be told, which we hadn’t built up in our experiences before. We were really thrilled when we finished the documentary. We are delighted to have won the 2022 Anjool Maldé Journalism Award for our documentary, thanks to the hard work of the three of us and the guidance of our supervisors and teaching assistants.
As well as collaborating on this documentary, the three of us are also very good friends in life. Although we have shared expertise in film production, we have diverse areas of specialism, which has served us well in the making of the documentary. Together we completed the shooting plan and the subsequent editing of the entire documentary, including but not limited to on-site interviews, video shooting, drone shooting, video production, script editing, post-editing, music and sound effects production. This is our learning practice in MA Media and Broadcast Production at Queen’s University Belfast. The process of making this documentary enabled us to gain a wealth of practical experience in documentary production. The honour of receiving the Anjool Maldé Journalism Award is the best proof our efforts and a testament to the value of this work.
The Anjool Maldé Journalism Award means a lot to the three of us. It’s a recognition of our abilities and a huge motivation for us to continue with the industry of media production. Bearing this in mind, in the future we will shoulder responsibility as media workers and journalists and continue to explore valuable stories and express them in the best form of media.
Yilin, Fangzhou and Ya
Watch the Documentary
Thanks to Yilin, Fangzhou and Ya’s kind offer, we would like to share with you all the documentary ‘The Gift Tree’ for appreciation. If you have any thoughts, ideas, and comments regarding the producers and the documentary, please leave your message in the box below. We are happy to pass it on to the contributors.
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.
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.