Confucius Institute Director Maggie Jiang
Happy Lunar New Year!
Tonight many families around the globe will gather together to usher in the Year of the Ox. Like most people across the world, we will be particularly glad to farewell the past year - the Year of the Rat - which has been a tumultuous and challenging time for us all. In Asian culture the ox is known for stability, reliability and hard work - qualities which bode well for a return to a more normal 2021.
I am proud of the way our team at the Confucius Institute rose to the many challenges of 2020. If the past year has shown us anything, it is that we have to adapt to changing times with resilience and innovation. We are starting 2021 with strong school engagement, high student numbers in our Chinese language classes and largest enrolment we have ever had for private lessons.
Our new partnership with the WA Museum Boola Bardip is now online! We are looking forward to introducing visitors to the Museum to aspects of Chinese culture that date back thousands of years but are still practised today.
We were pleased to be approached by The West Australian newspaper to write 'Family Names and Lucky Numbers’ for their 2021 Lunar New Year Feature. The article will be published tomorrow.
Keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook throughout 2021 as we continue our work of 'Teaching Chinese, Bridging Cultures'. For now, we wish you 新年快乐 xīnnián kuàilè (Happy New Year). If you catch some of our fun Lunar New Year content across Perth this week, we hope that it brings you a smile!.
Maggie Ying Jiang
Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is the most significant holiday in China and across many parts of Asia. In place of a community gathering this year, we are celebrating in a Covid-safe way with a New Year message to the people of Perth which can be seen on the Yagan Square Digital Tower this week. This fun animation features an ox steadily making his way around the tower with celebratory fireworks overhead. The ox is pulling a cart displaying the ‘Fu Dao’ symbol, which is a traditional New Year’s blessing indicating that good fortune is arriving. Those of you travelling down Stirling Highway in February may also see our message featured on the back of a Transperth bus.
Tomorrow look out for our article 'Family Names and Lucky Numbers’ in The West Australian’s Lunar New Year Feature. We were happy to be asked to write this piece and help readers learn something new about China in an entertaining and accessible format!
After a one-week delay for lockdown, our adult Chinese Language classes have resumed for the year and we were very happy to welcome everyone back to Campus. Some classes remain online at the students’ request, but most are back in the classroom. We are pleased to see class numbers remaining strong despite the uncertain times, and very pleased to report we have more private lesson students than ever before.
Restrictions on international travel means that many of our Chinese volunteers have now returned to China without being replaced. In order to continue our support to schools and community events, we have for the first time developed a team of local volunteers. Our new team began working in WA schools this week.
In December last year, 34 schools applied to host a CI volunteer in 2021 to provide in-classroom support for their Chinese Language teacher. We will work with more than 25 partner schools this year, balanced across primary and secondary schools. Free school incursions and other forms of support will be offered to the schools that unfortunately missed out.
Starting 7 March, we will offer community workshops in partnership with the WA Museum Boola Bardip. You can find us at the Museum on the first Sunday of the month (during school terms). Discover China – Culture and Craft Workshops will be suitable for all ages and include activities such as calligraphy, guzheng (Chinese zither), Chinese tea appreciation and traditional Chinese games. All are welcome - make us part of your visit to Perth’s wonderful new cultural centrepiece!