On 27 January 2017, the UJCI was proud to present the Chinese Spring Festival celebrating the beginning of the New Year in China – The Year of the Rooster – at Auckland Park.
The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is determined by the lunisolar Chinese calendar, so the date changes from year to year.
Members of the Chinese Club and students at the UJCI presented impressive traditional and contemporary performances that illustrated the dynamism of Chinese culture through music, dance, storytelling and theatrical presentations.
The official guests included Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation; Prof Chris Landsberg, holder of the NRF Chair of African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy; Prof David More; and Prof Adekeye Adebajo, incoming Director of the Institute for Pan African Thought (IPATC). Faculty, staff and school students also attended the event.
Speakers included the Mandarin lecturers Michele Liu, Sun Wei and Du Shougao.
Dr David Monyae, Director of the UJ CI, said: ‘The Confucius Institute envisions Chinese Spring Festival as a celebration for people of all ages and backgrounds, with Chinese and non-Chinese coming together to enjoy the beauty and majesty of Chinese culture through the ages.
“The Chinese New Year has become a special date on the University calendar, and the family-friendly celebrations are a fantastic opportunity to welcome local people to the University. As part of its mandate, the UJCI teaches African and Chinese culture as part of its annual activities. These cultural activities go a long way in strengthening Africa and China relationship far beyond high level political and business networks. It brings people-to-people experience making it much easier for cultural dimension of the strategic partnership between Africans and Chinese. It also offers an international experience for those interested in learning more about Chinese culture.”
The Chinese New Year has a rich long history spanning back thousands of years. In China it is known as the “Spring Festival” because it marks the end of the winter season and this year’s festival welcomed in the dawn of the Year of the Rooster. With more than 530 Confucius Institutes worldwide, the overall objective is to teach Mandarin and to promote Chinese cultural activities.
Highlights of the 2017 festival included the background of Chinese Spring Festival; writing Chinese Spring Couplets and making Chinese Dumplings, all accompanied by the use of the most famous, contemporary Chinese music.