GCI Online Celebration Chinese New Year 2021 — Huge Success

On 12 February 2021, the Groningen Confucius Institute (GCI) celebrated the Chinese New Year for the first time online, from 18:30 to 20:10 via the Zoom platform. Over 100 participants joined the online festivity to welcome the Year of the Ox.

The virtual celebration kicked off with greetings from GCI Vice Director and host Mr. Jan Klerken. Next, GCI Director Xuefei Knoester-Cao gave an opening speech, extending her gratitude to GCI team members, who keep working during this traditional Chinese festival, and to students who maintained their trust in GCI when forced by the pandemic to switch to online courses.

GCI Vice Director Jan Klerken, extending his greetings

GCI Director Xuefei Knoester-Cao giving her opening speech
Following the speech, participants watched a video of GCI 2020 Highlights, in which GCI teachers and students reviewed what has been accomplished by remote learning when all language courses went online, and expressed their excitement about this first ever online Chinese New Year celebration.

Next, three GCI students gave ‘China Talks’. First, Oliver Konradt, a GCI student from Germany shared a story of how learning Chinese cheered him up during a gloomy period of his life and motivated him to study and become a top student. He said it was during the process of learning Chinese that he found pleasure in studying. He proudly announced that he was admitted at Peking University and every participant in the chat room congratulated him upon hearing this!

GCI student Oliver Konradt sharing his story

The second student to share his learning experience was GCI student Nol Duindam, who was also the champion of the 2020 Chinese Bridge Competition for university students. He personally believed that language, culture and fine food combine perfectly and online cooking shows provided the best resources to learn Chinese. He then played a video showing how he made Dan Dan noodles, a classic Sichuan recipe. Participants were enthusiastic and some even jokingly asked him whether he accepted orders on the Dutch food delivery app Thuisbezorgd, where you can order takeaway.

GCI student Nol Duindam cooking Dan Dan noodles

GCI student Kristin Koffel from the United States was the third student to share her story. She presented a self-made video telling her love story with her Chinese husband. During the COVID-19 pandemic last year, she decided to take up the Chinese HSK4 online course at GCI to pursue learning the language and gain a better understanding of Chinese culture. After several months of study, she could converse with her husband in Chinese and even address viewers in Chinese in her video about her study and life experience.

GCI student Kristin Koffel telling her story in Chinese

Another festive feature of the virtual Chinese New Year was the Pub quiz, hosted by GCI teacher Wenjia Xu. Nearly all the participants joined the Pub quiz with their mobile phones. Quiz questions covered general knowledge about China and other countries in the fields of art, culture, sports and so on, and all participants could totally immerse themselves in the interactive trivia fun. Three participants won the third prize, two won the second prize and one won the first prize. GCI Chinese Director Jiahui Jiang presented the prizes to all Pub quiz winners, after which three more participants won prizes with their winning numbers during the Lucky Draw.

GCI Chinese Director Jiahui Jiang presenting prizes to Pub quiz winners
Although this year’s celebration of the Chinese New Year went online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was great to see so many people wanting to connect with GCI and show their passion by decorating their background with festive colours and decorations. After this memorable 2021 online gathering, let us hope that the next Chinese New Year 2022 is celebrated ‘normally’, enabling us to greet each other offline!

Groningen Confucius Institute
Correspondence address:
Oude Boteringestraat 44
9712 GL Groningen
The Netherlands

Visiting address:
Oude Boteringestraat 42
9712 GL Groningen
The Netherlands

tel. +31 (0)50 - 36 34 688