Local schools join in UCLan Chinese culture celebrations

29 September 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

Confucius Institute marks ten year global anniversary

Schools from the region have visited the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the global Confucius Institute which promotes Chinese language and culture in local communities.

The UCLan Confucius Institute celebrated the anniversary in style by inviting pupils from four local schools to take part in Tai Chi and martial arts lessons, watch a lion dance, sing Chinese songs and try their hands at kite flying.

The pupils from Our Lady's Catholic College, Lordsgate CE Primary, Dolphinholme CE Primary and Colne Park High School also took part in a Jianzi competition, which uses a device similar to a shuttlecock to play a form of ‘keepy uppy’, and learned more about Chinese geography and the many costumes worn by some of China’s 56 ethnic groups.

Shannon Gallacher, a 12-year-old pupil from Our Lady’s Catholic College in Lancaster, commented:

“I really enjoyed the dancing lions and martial arts demonstrations as I’ve never seen anything like it before, it was amazing. I didn’t know much about Chinese culture before today so it’s been a real eye opener.”

Confucius Global  

The Colne Park High School students will take part in what is believed to be the first Chinese school exchange in Lancashire this year when they visit Beijing and Fuzhou to stay with peers who have already visited East Lancashire. They took part in the UCLan celebration to prepare for their cultural visit.

Deputy head teacher Andrea Wade commented: “The ten pupils taking part in the exchange will spend a week living with a Chinese family so it will be a massive cultural awakening for them. The UCLan Confucius Institute has played a crucial part in making the trip happen and will teach them some language basics in preparation for the trip.”
The school is also appealing to local businesses for further funding for this exciting venture. Anyone who is interested can contact Andrea on awade@park-high.co.uk
Feixi Yu, the Director of UCLan Confucius Institute, commented: “The global Confucius Institute has done a brilliant job over the last ten years to raise the profile of Chinese language and culture and UCLan has certainly played an important part in Lancashire.

“We are delighted to welcome these young people to the University to share in our celebrations and make the local community a part of this special anniversary for the global and UCLan Confucius Institute.”

In September last year the UCLan Confucius Institute celebrated its own five year anniversary with a Chinese opera concert. Since it was established in 2008 the UCLan Confucius Institute has introduced Mandarin Chinese to primary school children across the North West and many secondary schools in the area have benefitted from Chinese culture taster days. It has also created many opportunities for schoolchildren and university students to visit and study in China.