Chinese Festival 2018
On 22 September, from 11:00 to 16:00 pm, at Chinese Tuin, Hortus Haren, Groningen, Groningen Confucius Institute (GCI) successfully hosted the annual event, Chinese Festival, which attracted over 800 participants in total and during the event, everyone was engaged in a series of shows and workshops presented by GCI.
In front of the teahouse was the beautiful stage, where visitors appreciated many well-prepared shows from teachers of GCI as well as other performers and teams.
This grand event started with a wonderful Lion Dance by Wushu-association Bao Trieu/ Blijd. And before lion “danced”, it needed to be “awakened” by the audience.
Then Wei Jiang, teacher from GCI, gave a cucurbit flute: Dance of the Yao People, which expresses how Yao People in Southwestern China memorize their ancestors and praise the beauty of life and love. It is said that the first 18 notes of “When You Believe” in 1998 by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey were based on this music.
Huili Zhang, teacher from GCI, sang a Chinese song: Celadon Porcelain.
Several students from Chinese school in Groningen performed a group dance: Beautiful Grassland My Home. As cultural heritage, this form of dance is from local Mongolian People and uses movements from different parts of body and also contains martial art elements. The choreography is meant to show the deep affection of Mongolian People and the beautiful grassland where they live for generations.
Huili Zhang, teacher from GCI, also performed a fan dance with music played in Guzheng (zither) by Jingfan Xie, teacher from GCI.
Shang Qiao and Zhihong Li, teachers from GCI, jointly sang a Chinese song: A Beautiful Myth, which tells a story in Qin Dynasty in China and is also the theme music of the Chinese film “The Myth” acted by Chinese Kungfu star, Jackie Chan.
Wei Jiang, teacher from GCI, also performed a Chinese opera: The Emperor’s Female Son-in-law, which is about a girl in ancient Chinese times who disguised herself as a male and strived to save her true love.
Tianyi Huang, a student from Leiden University and Jingfan Xie, teacher from GCI, together gave a violin and Guzheng (Zither) duet: Melodies of the Night Fishermen. This wonderful combination between western and eastern musical instruments, both classical and long-history, described the scene that fishermen are coming back home with great satisfactory about their harvest.
Zhihong Li, gave a poem recital: Water Melody, a well-known poetry written by one of the most famous ancient Chinese poets, Su Dongpo, in Mid-Autumn Festival to miss his younger brother, Su Che, who had not seen him for seven years. And this performance was accompanied by the music played in Guzheng (zither) from Jingfan Xie. The moon in the sky has read the changes of the past and the present, and the joys and sorrows. They let the audience try to revisit the inner feelings of the ancients.
Final show was the fascinating dragon dance performed by Wushu Association Bao Trieu/ Blijd.
At meantime, in each pavilion of Hortus, teachers from GCI also held a range of workshops including Chinese Calligraphy, Chinese Painting, Face Mask Painting, Chinese Paper Cutting and Knotting, Chinese Language for Children and Adults, and Wushu/Kung Fu.
Chinese Calligraphy by Danning Chai, Wencui Zhou, Ziwen Song, teachers from GCI.
Chinese Painting by Shang Qiao, teacher from GCI.
Face Mask Painting by Jingfan Xie and Wenjia Xu, teachers from GCI.
Chinese Paper Cutting and Knotting by Wenjia Xu and Jingfan Xie, teachers from GCI.
Chinese Language for Children and Adults by Yang Wang and Cui Hao, teachers from GCI.
Wushu/Kung Fu by Earl from Wushu Association Bao Trieu/ Blijd.
This year Chinese Festival gained great attention from people with different nations and walks who are of keen interest in Chinese traditional culture. And the event also gathered many kids and students from nearby Chinese and Dutch schools. GCI designed a special card with Mid-Autumn Festival elements (as another very important Chinese traditional festival, it was just following the event) for everyone who participated in those workshops: they could get a small sticker on the card after finishing one workshop and if they could accumulate four stickers then they will get a gift about Chinese culture or language.
(BY Danning Chai, Photo by ShangQiao)