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Confucius Institute Hosts Open House

For Release Upon Receipt - Monday, November 5, 2018

DSC_0082ED-11-5-2018.jpgA tea ceremony, candid reflections on life in China, and tai chi on the terrace were some of the many activities which took place when the Confucius Institute at Cave Hill campus threw open its doors to the public today.

Co-director of the Confucius Institute, David Bulbulia, said the Confucius Institute Day Open House intended to expose the general public to Chinese culture and language, as well as sensitise current students to the academic and scholarship opportunities available.

From September 2018, the department of Language, Linguistics and Literature has been offering a minor in Mandarin. Head of department, Dr. Ian Craig, said 20 students were enrolled in the introductory course. He expressed pleasure at the diversity of majors represented in the class, including International Relations, Information Technology, Computer Science and Electronics, Health Sciences, and Philosophy.

“We are pleased to see students from programmes that we did not expect to attract. It shows that students from a wide range of academic backgrounds are interested in China and Chinese language,” he said.

Those in attendance at the open house also learned about special festivals celebrated in China, such as the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) and basic Mandarin greetings. Additionally, former Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Chelston Brathwaite, also spoke to students about his experience of living in Beijing for four years.

He admitted that he “learned something new every day” during his time there and emphasised that those who wished to visit or study in China should be prepared to go as representatives of their country.

“You are going as an ambassador whether you like it or not,” he said. “Chinese are interested in history and culture, and they are going to want to know about your country.”

The Confucius Institute at The UWI Cave Hill was established in 2015. Last year it copped the globally-recognised Confucius Institute of the Year award, the youngest institute ever to do so.


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