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.

Happy New Year 2023

Bye 2022, Hi 2023!

A calendar on a desk, displaying January 1st 2023, together with some other stationery and a flower vase with some tulips.
Photo credit: Anqi HUANG

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.

Celebrations elsewhere in Belfast

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.

Chinese Brushes in Belfast and Beyond

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ArtEast-Exhibition-UM-Poster.jpg
See the event on Ulster Museum What’s On

Supported by The Language Centre at Queen’s, the Ulster Museum and the Chinese Welfare Association NI, this half-day event is family-friendly and free for all.

To view the ArtEast NI online exhibition starting from Sunday 22nd January when the Year of the Rabbit starts, please click the button below.

Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations

Happy September and happy Mid-Autumn Festival which arrives early, falling on Saturday 10th September this year. 中秋节快乐 (Zhōngqiūjié kuàilè)!

Following the successful rolling out of the iRise Social and Wellbeing Event – A Taste of Chinese Tea with Guzheng Music in July, we would like to invite you to join our Mid-Autumn Festival celebration with a cultural talk on its history and social impact, with a taste of mooncakes (赏月 shǎng yuè) and MIDI keyboard performance (赏乐 shǎng yuè) –

MIDI Keyboard with Roses
  • Organised by The Language Centre and BAME & International Staff Network, QUB
  • Presented by Dr Liang Wang, The Language Centre
  • Contributed by Kehan (可瀚), BSc candidate in Music and Audio Production, School of Arts, English and Languages

Date: Friday 23rd September 2022
Time: 15:30 – 17:00 
Venue: The Auditorium, McClay Library

Please note: Due to rescheduling we may have some limited spaces available. For colleagues who signed up for the event and still can attend, you don’t need to do it again. However, if you are no longer able to attend in-person, please email liang.wang[at]qub.ac.uk so that places can be made to others. Please register by 4.00pm on Thursday 22nd September.

Happy Summer with Yangzhi Ganlu

While in Northern Ireland we have embraced a cool autumn it remains scorching hot in most places in China, where having a bowl of chilled dessert soup sparks so much joy in a hot summer. This time we invite CHEN Jiangyue (陈江月), a graduate in MSc TESOL, to share with us a type of popular dessert soup called ‘Yangzhi Ganlu’.

As a girl raised in Guangdong province, which borders Hong Kong, my favourite dessert soup is Yangzhi Ganlu (杨枝甘露 Yángzhī Gānlù), a type of Hong Kong-style dessert soup that is often widely known as ‘Yangzhi Nectar’, or simply, ‘Mango Pomelo Sago’ in English.

Photo: CHEN Jiangyue

The dessert soup of the day

Rich in fruit, especially mango (芒果 mángguǒ) and pomelo (柚子 yòuzi), as the name suggests, it often contains grapefruit (葡萄柚 pútaoyòu), coconut (椰子 yēzi), strawberry (草莓 cǎoméi), and sago (西米露 xīmǐlù), served in coconut milk (椰奶 yēnǎi) and syrup (糖水 tángshuǐ, aka Tong Sui in Cantonese). Deliciously sweet and sour with a silky milk flavour, it will soon perk you up with the feeling of infinite freshness and happiness! While it is best served chilled, especially in summer, it is nevertheless a great drink for all seasons.

Whenever I feel like a summer treat, I will make it myself at home as it is easy to prepare, or buy it at local stores as they are so popular. It is also my top recommendation for my friends coming to visit Guangdong. Every time we meet at my place, I always take my friends out to taste Yangzhi Ganlu at some must-try restaurants or dessert soup stores.

What does the Chinese name mean exactly?

Yangzhi Ganlu is a contemporary syrup invented by the Lei Yuan Group, a Hong Kong-based business, in the 1980s, although its name is embedded with connotations of traditional Chinese mythology.

Yangzhi (杨枝 Yángzhī), literally meaning willow branches, refers to the holy branch held in the sacred porcelain vase of Guanyin Bodhisattva (观世音菩萨 Guānshìyīn púsà) in Chinese Buddhism, a figure synonymous with the pinnacle of mercy, compassion, and kindness. Ganlu (甘露 Gānlù) refers to the holy dew dropping from the willow branch, which is believed to have the power to bring people back to life or to make one feel refreshed.

Photo © nationsonline.org

Hence, the name was adopted to highlight its health benefits and its effectiveness at cooling people down in hot weather.

Taking a pioneer role in a competitive dessert industry, Yangzhi Ganlu has evolved into many different variations overtime and has won the heart of many people, both young and old, in greater China and elsewhere. It is believed that its success does not merely rely on the business itself, but also on the cultural associations of its name.

Author: CHEN Jiangyue
Editors:
Lauren McShane and WANG Liang

What other type of dessert or drinks have you ever entertained yourselves? Let us know your choices and the stories behind by leaving your comments in the box below. We look forward to reading your blog post in the near future.

Continue reading

Dragon Boat Racing

Happy Chinese Dragon Boat Festival! 龙舟节快乐!

The Dragon Boat Festival, or Duanwu Festival (端午节 Duānwǔ jié), is a traditional Chinese festival with a history of over 2000 years. It occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month in Chinese lunar calendar, which falls on Friday 3rd June this year.

Duanwu Festival is widely known as Dragon Boat Festival (龙舟节 Lóngzhōu jié) to the rest of the world, as one of its celebrative events – dragon boat racing – has become so popular (受欢迎 shòu huānyíng) in the world.

Today, we would like to invite Dr YAO Xudan (姚旭丹) to introduce dragon boat racing and share with us her interesting experiences of joining in races when she was in Belfast and more recently in Manchester.

Image@LiangWANG

YAO Xudan (姚旭丹) studied her PhD in Queen’s University Belfast from 2014 to 2018. Afterwards, she joined the National Graphene Institute, University of Manchester, as a postdoctoral research associate. Currently, she is continuing her research in Queen Mary College, University of London.

Dragon Boat Racing in Belfast

When I was doing my PhD at Queen’s, I joined dragon boat racing as a paddler twice in 2015 and 2016, as a member of Team QUB, which were organised by Chinese Welfare Association NI. People from different professional backgrounds, including universities, associations, boat clubs, etc., signed up for the events with full enthusiasm. Chinese food was prepared and supplied to all participants. Although we did not win in the end, everyone enjoyed the teamwork spirit (团队精神 tuánduì jīngshén) during racing, despite the bad weather. My colleagues from Spain and India were so excited that they wanted very much to follow up celebrations as such in the future. I believe that our traditional culture (传统文化 chuántǒng wénhuà) could be shared and accepted widely in this engaging way.

Dragon Boat Racing in Manchester

On 29th May 2022, the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival was held in Manchester, with 36 teams from universities, companies and institutions participating in the competition. With my previous experience of Belfast races I joined one of the University of Manchester teams, which was formed by all girls. The morning was a bit wet but fortunately it became sunny during the race. Again, although we could not enter into the final competition (决赛 juésài), we were satisfied with our great team performance and enjoyed ourselves. Apart from the racing, the festival also included Chinese kung fu performance (功夫表演 gōngfu biǎoyǎn), singing (唱歌 chànggē), dancing (跳舞 tiàowǔ) and tasting (品尝 pǐncháng) traditional Chinese food such as zongzi (粽子 zòngzi), baozi (包子 bāozi), marinated eggs (卤蛋 lǔdàn), making it an exciting and fun experience.

Overall, dragon boat racing is really one of the wonderful occasions for people to get together and celebrate our traditional festival, as well as to enhance intercultural communication and understanding between people of different communities.

About dragon boat racing

Dragon boats are human-powered watercrafts originally made of wood, and in modern times upgraded into carbon or glass fibre composites, as well as other lightweight materials. They are universally decorated with a Chinese dragon head and tail. For racing, a standard dragon boat typically consists of 20 paddlers, one drummer facing toward the paddlers, and one steerer. However, there are also small boats with a capacity of 10 paddlers.

Image@XudanYao

Author: YAO Xudan
Editors: Martin Duffy and WANG Liang

Have you joined any boat racing events before? You are very welcome to share your experience by using the comment box below.

More to read

Here are posts about our past celebrations of Dragon Boat Festival, if you are interested in getting to know more about our celebrations at Queen’s.

QUB boat racing event

After a 3 year absence the 16th annual Queen’s University Belfast Boat Race will take place next month, with Queen’s men and women rowers taking on Trinity College Dublin on Saturday 11 June 2022. As well as the main event there will also be junior races involving local schools racing over the 2km course.

For more information click QUB Event page.

2022 Chinese Language Video Festival launched

‘China Chic’: Chinese Language Video Festival launched to celebrate UN Chinese Language Day

CGTN.COM

The theme this year is “China Chic” – a modern take on traditional Chinese heritage from young people around the world. As China has continued to progress and innovate, unique cultural elements have been adapted to fit the very latest trends, with the younger generation increasingly aware of regional differences.

All non-native Chinese speakers from around the world are invited to submit an original video showcasing the beauty of Chinese traditions and how they are incorporated into the modern world.

Read CGTN for more details.

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.

Pre-CNY Workshop

Here it comes the first event of the CNY celebration – all welcome!

Workshop facilitator:
Ms Jean JING, ArtEast Club co-founder

Workshop organiser:
Dr Liang WANG, The Language Centre

Aims:

  • To celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Ox as part of promoting cultural diversity at Queen’s and beyond
  • To appreciate the art of paper crafts with hands-on experience
  • To promote Chinese language and culture learning at Queen’s

Preparation:
Audience are expected to prepare some A4-size papers, a pair of scissors, and a pen or marker (black ink) in advance.

For more events, please visit Chinese Culture Programme.