China Day at Charles La Trobe
April of this year, however, saw the fantastic China Day held on Wednesday 20th, which involved approximately 600 teachers and students, 11 Confucius Institute teachers and volunteers, with various cultural performances and activities that took place.
As Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Anthony McGrew addressed the ceremony, he commented that events such as the annual China Day help enrich students’ lives and also assist in the learning and understanding of Chinese culture in Australia. He extended his appreciation and gratitude for the efforts of our wonderful teachers and volunteers, while Principle Anna Rigoni encouraged students to actively participate in the various cultural activities so that they could learn more about the language and culture.
This ceremony was impressively hosted in a bilingual fashion, in English and China, by the CLTC students and it included sign language for those students with hearing and speaking disabilities. Soon after, traditional performances took the stage and included a lion dance, long-sleeve dancing, and the Taiji sword received considerable acclaim from the audience.
The Taiji sword is a straight two-edged sword used in the training of the Chinese martial art Taijiquan. The straight sword is used for upper body conditioning and martial training in traditional Taijiquan schools and always proves very popular in performances.
After the ceremony, a cultural experience workshop took place and was designed according to student abilities. The workshop included things like childhood games, handcrafts, a go at the Chinese traditional dancing, and even the Taiji sword was used! The games and Taiji sword were held out in the playground, and students were divided up into squads to take turns in learning and experiencing traditional activities like diabolo playing, shuttlecock kicking, and rubber band and rope skipping. The indoor activities involved bracelet making, aeroplane chess, Gomoku (an abstract strategy board game), opera mask and fan painting.
We here at the Confucius Institute have been supporting the Charles La Trobe College Chinese language program since 2012, through the provision of language teaching support and complementary cultural events, such as this China Day experience. This event has actually become a platform for multi-level students, teachers, and surrounding residents in Victoria, which allows participants to learn about Chinese culture in an up and close way.