| 03.17.2018

Celebrating Chinese culture

The University of Idaho Chinese Students and Scholars Association and the UI Confucius Institute are working together to host China Night Oct. 26 to bring Chinese food and culture to students.

China Night will be held in the Student Union Building  Ballroom from 6-9 p.m. and is open to all who are interested in learning more about the culture. Tickets will be sold in the Idaho Commons from Oct. 21-25 for $8.

“This will be our first big event to UI students and we are looking forward to it,” said Lu Ding, president of the UICSSA.

The event will feature Chinese opera and other live performances, traditional cuisine and games to celebrate and share the culture.  Students and faculty will be there as well to share their own performances as part of the event. Raffle tickets will also be handed out at the door with a chance to win gift cards.

The UICSSA will be tabling outside the SUB Ballroom during the event to share more information with students who are interested in joining. The club is focused on helping connect students to the Chinese culture, academically and professionally. Ding said originally the club focused on reaching out to Chinese students, but it has now grown to welcome all students interested in connecting and learning more.

“We can do more things, not only to entertain us to ourselves, but do something deeper like cultural expanding or represent our community to U.S. students,” Ding said.

The club is also growing due to the support of the recent opening of the Confucius Institute at UI.

Since 2004, the Chinese government has sponsored Confucius Institutes to create partnerships to universities around the world. Currently there are over 400 Confucius Institutes at the university level.

The Confucius Institute at UI hosted its grand opening in April, and is working to bring more Chinese language and cultural courses to the university. This fall, the university introduced its first Chinese language class and will add the next level course next spring, according to Pingchau Zhu, director of the UI Confucius Institute.

The institute is partnering with South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, capital of the Guangdong province. The partnership will allow the university to better immerse itself in the Chinese culture by providing more courses in the language and history, as well as a potential for study abroad programs in the future, Zhu said.

“In addition to the promotion of the Chinese language and also Chinese culture, we also want to promote cooperation between the two universities and by extension between U of I and other universities in China,” Zhu said.

The Confucius Institute is also responsible for reaching out to other schools in the state of Idaho.

The UICSSA and Confucius Institute will also be participating in the Cruise the World event in early November, sponsored by the International Programs Office.

“Because this is our first semester, we want to make our presence known,” Zhu said.

Kathryn Blowers can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu

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