Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lantern celebration for the Year of the Monkey

AUCKLAND PARK– University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute offers Mandarin and Chinese culture courses.

Image from article, with caption: The University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute co-directors Dr David Monyae and Prof Lyu Jiangao encourage people to learn more about the Chinese culture.

The University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute (UJCI) celebrated a lantern festival for the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Monkey – on 24 February.
The event in Auckland Park was attended by residents, students, staff and representatives who came to learn more about Mandarin and Mandarin courses offered at the university.
The institute’s co-director, Dr David Monyae, delivered the opening speech of the celebration. He explained what the UJCI represents and the plans the institution aims to implement.
“UJCI aims to facilitate language training, cultural exchanges and public diplomacy that deepens South Africa and China relations. The implementation agreement includes teaching Mandarin to the UJ staff, students, members of the public, companies and organisations,” said Dr Monyae.
The institute’s other co-director, Prof Lyu Jiangao delivered an interesting speech on the origins of lanterns. He also described the significance of walking on stilts, and eating tangyuan – which is a dumpling made of sticky rice, stuffed with different fillings.
“Tangyuan is round in shape, which symbolises reunion, harmony and happiness. During the night of the festival, family members sit together to taste the dumpling and appreciate the full moon,” explained Jiangao.
Guests were served delicious Chinese cuisine which included pork ribs, noodles with vegetables, deep fried dumplings and sticky rice with eggs.
Auckland Park resident Susan Scott said she learned a great deal about the Chinese culture and looks forward to learning more. “I enjoyed the way that Prof Jiangao engaged with older and younger people about how our cultures can be integrated through education,” said Scott.
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