A Chinese cultural experience event took place in the Galway Shopping Centre on December 26, 2017. Teachers of the UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland (CII) and its Confucius Classroom in the Galway Education Centre showcased paper cut, calligraphy, Chinese knots, facepaint, musical instruments, Tai chi,singingand dancing. The event offered the Galway people a cultural feast.
Shoppers stopped to watch the dance South of the Cloud performed by three teachers wearing folk costumes, which opened the colorful event.
The face paint section was particular popular among children. Unique designs with the Chinese national flag, Chinese characters, Chinese zodiacs and shamrock came to life on children’s faces. The teachers not only drew Chinese characters such as ai (love), mei (beautiful) on Children’s faces but also showed them the meanings and pronunciations of these characters. A lovely memory of Chinese culture was created in their mind as well as on their faces.
The papercutting section was filled with both Children and adults, who were learning how to fold, draw and cut Christmas-themed paper designs with traditional Chinese papercut window decorations such as xi (double happiness) and fu (good fortune). While learning the meanings of the Chinese characters, the participants were amazed at the enchanting art of Chinese paper cut. People were immersed in the magical moments of Christmas and Chinese art.
A unique traditional Chinese musical instrument hu lu si created a beautiful audio atmosphere. A solo dance about classic Chinese beauties attracted the audience with the performer’s extremely long sleeves and gracious movements, reflecting the elegant and gentle aspect of the Chinese culture.
The Chinese string craft section was full of festive atmosphere, where teachers demonstrated how to make simple Chinese string decorations and bracelets. Participants left happilly with the products they created by themselves.
Teachers in tai chi costumes performed an authentic Chen style 24-moverment tai chi, a variation of Chinese martial art. Locals copied the teachers and learned a few classic movements.
As an art of the Chinese writing and language expressions, calligraphy plays a very improtant role in the Chinese culture. The teachers demonstrated how to hold a brush, dip it with ink, make the first stroke and complete the writing. The partakers had a first-hand experience of Chinese characters writing. They also received a wonderful present from the teachers-their handwritten Chinese names.
Apart from nearly 700 Galway locals, several special guests also took part in the event. T.D. Frank Fahey, former Vice President of European Commission and former Minister of State expressed his admiration for Chinese culture. He took many pictures to record this event. Mr Seamus Cahalan, Deputy Principle of Saint Joseph's Patrician College-The Bish, is also a student of the UCD CII Chinese Language Training for Irish Secondary School Teachers course, loved the unique instrument hu lu si and sang Christmas carols with the Chinese teachers. Mr Dennis Murphy, former head of GMIT’S department of hotel and catering management, also a student of UCD CII evening advanced class and business class. He came to the event and learned how to do paper cut. He taught for 5 years in Nanchang University and is a big fan of Chinese culture. He is an enthusiastic mature student of Chinese. Catherine, an experienced primary school teacher enjoyed tai chi. She praised the teachers for their thoughtful preparations. The marketing staff of Galway Shopping Centre praised the teacher for their excellent performance and professionalism. They sent some pictures they took on facebook and shared them with their 20,000 clients.
2nd from right: Frank Fahey; 1st from left: Seamus Cahalan