We are looking for talented students and staff members to volunteer for our Chinese language and cultural events 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 look forward to working with you in our future events.
4th May is the Youth Day in China, known as 五四青年节 (wǔsì qīngnián jié).
May (the) Fourthn. (also 4 May, etc.) Chinese History (attributive) designating or relating to a demonstration held by students in Peking (Beijing) on 4 May 1919 to protest against the Chinese government’s failure to oppose the decision by the Versailles Peace Committee to allocate Germany’s former possessions in China to Japan; (also) designating the wider cultural and intellectual revolution in China for which this demonstration is generally regarded as having been a catalyst; esp. in May (the) Fourth Movement.
Today we invite you to join in this celebration with DENG Wei (邓维), a QUB graduate in Arts Management, who went back to China after graduation but now has returned to Belfast in pursuit her professional development in arts and cultural exchange through guzheng performance. She has performed guzheng widely on various occasions, both at Queen’s and beyond.
While she continues with her guzheng workshops at Queen’s she has now been invited to give performances at the City Hall, 2 Royal Ave, Belfast on Wednesdays from 11:00 to 18:30 pm.
Wei looks forward to welcoming anyone interested to go there for her scheduled performances, and more importantly, to have dialogues with her sharing their perspectives and practice of guzheng performance.
Wei is invited as a guest guzheng performer with WANG Xinxin for The Ballad of Mulan (《木兰辞》) at the Songs from Spring – Singing with Chinese Poetry concert on Saturday 6th May. Her next guzheng workshop at Queen’s will be on Tuesday 30th May, from 15:00 to 16:00, at the Auditorium, The McClay Library. It is a free session, but booking is required via the button below or scanning the QR code.
Whilst people went out to the city centre for the St Patrick’s Day celebration (17th March), Mengjia, accompanied by her two friends, took the courage to perform guzheng music out there. Read on what Mengjia told us.
Tell us about you and your instrument
My name is QU Mengjia (屈梦佳) and I am a postgraduate student from China studying Master in Broadcast and Media Production at Queen’s University Belfast. I have been playing guzheng since the age of 6 and received my Grade 10 Guzheng Professional Certificate when I was 11 years old.
The guzheng is a kind of traditional Chinese string musical instrument that has had a history of over 2500 years. It first appeared in China during the Spring and Autumn Period (770–476 BC) and became prominent during the Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE).
Why did you want to play it on St Patrick’s Day?
I have had the idea of performing guzheng on the streets of Belfast since I came to study at Queen’s, because before I came to the UK I saw social media videos on Chinese students performing traditional Chinese arts overseas, and I wanted to do the same thing. I was particularly inspired to do this event after watching the Chinese New Year celebration this January, including guzheng performance on campus. Most of the audience were students and staff members, Chinese or not. I thought that I could help to do more by promoting guzheng performance in Belfast city center, where I could reach more people, both local and international, and introduce such an instrument through my performance. I chose St Patrick’s Day just because it was a great occasion to meet a large number of people in the downtown area as the parade started there.
How did you feel about your performance on the day?
Well, it was a pilot performance and I think this was the first guzheng performance ever done outdoors in the downtown Belfast area. I was quite excited to see many people around me. I have to say that the weather was so bad as it rained with gusty winds. We had to wait for the intervals when the rain stopped. I played a number of famous guzheng music such as Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (aka China’s Romeo and Juliet), and with the help of my two friends, LI Jiaqi and WU Xiaoya, we managed to disseminate our performance information sheets, speaking to people passing by. I hope that I had introduced the beauty of the guzheng music and that would encourage greater appreciation for Chinese guzheng culture. Also, through sharing my passion for this traditional instrument, I hope to inspire others to explore and learn more about the diverse cultural traditions of our world.
Do you have any plans for the following up outdoor performances?
Not yet, as I need to complete my assignments first. But I would like to do so when the weather becomes nicer, ideally in the third semester when my courses all end and I can focus on my dissertation writing up, with guzheng performance as part of my social life. I also look forward to doing it on campus if there are suitable events that I can contribute to.
Finally, we would like to thank Mengjia for sharing her Instagram account with us, which includes a video clip of her performance on the day! You are welcome to share your thoughts and comments with us in the reply box below or with Ying on her social media.
The first half of the CNY celebrations went on extremely well, featuring the student-led Interactive Chinese Culture Displays and Demos, the CNY2023 Launch Event, and the art exhibitions both online and in-person. We would like to send our ‘thank-you’ to all of you who have contributed, participated in and helped with promotion. We hope that you have enjoyed yourselves.
In the following part of the CNY Programme, we continue to warmly welcome you to attend a series of culture talks, a fun time table tennis event and a guzheng introductory workshop. All QUB students and staff members are welcome!
Click below for registration and viewing the full programme
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.
§ 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.
Welcome to join us in a unique traditional music tour between Chinese and Irish music
Following the success of the joint Celtic-Chinese performance for the Chinese New Year celebration organised by the Language Centre and BAME & International Staff Network, we are delighted to run a showcase of Chinese and Irish performance for all Queen’s staff, students and the general public, as part of the Development Week Programme at Queen’s.
This showcase and recital will introduce two popular Chinese traditional instruments, Dizi (笛子 dízi) and Guzheng (古筝 gǔzhēng) focusing on the playing techniques, in comparison with the local Irish harp (竖琴 shùqín) and flute (长笛 chángdí) playing practice. We will talk about the historical, social and regional styles and invite the audience to join the discussion, hand-on practice and the playing session.
Traditional music plays a very important role in people’s life in Ireland. Local people in Northern Ireland not only appreciate their own music, but also the diverse music from a wide range of different cultures, including the Chinese community. Chinese traditional music has been under revival since the early 20th century with a second boom from the 1970s onward.
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.
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.
The Mooncake Festival (月饼节), officially known as Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节) in China, has been widely used by people in some Asian countries.
Following last year’s celebration, we would like to welcome you again to join our online Mid-Autumn Festival culture programme which involves
A culture talk with quiz
Making mooncakes (demo)
The event is jointly contributed by Queen’s Chinese staff, students and alumni. The event is scheduled between 1:00 and 2:00 pm on Tuesday 21st September – the Mid-Autumn Festival day. You are all very welcome to attend the session with the information and registration link below:
Normally people would greet each other by saying ‘Happy Mid-Autumn Festival’ 中秋节快乐 (Zhōngqiū jié kuàilè). However, in this special time of facing pandemic threat, we often wish people peaceful and healthy by adding 安康 (ānkāng) in addition to 快乐 (kuàilè), which becomes “中秋节快乐安康 (Zhōngqiū jié kuàilè ānkāng)”.
中 (zhōng) – middle, centre
秋 (qiū) – autumn
中秋 (Zhōngqiū) – mid-Autumn
节 (jié) – festival, day
快乐 (kuàilè) – happy
安康 (ānkāng) – peaceful and healthy
To learn more Chinese vocabulary and expressions in a structured way, you are welcome to attend one of our Chinese courses for non-specialist purposes. Click the link below to check for Mandarin Chinese course information.