Participants could see Chinese culture in theory and practice of the Chinese New Year celebrations held at the UG Faculty of Law and Administration. The event, organised by the UG Confucius Institute, was attended by Poles and Chinese. The former had the opportunity to become better acquainted with the culture of the East, while the latter could feel a substitute for the home atmosphere abroad.
- 'The celebration of the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, falls on the first day of the lunar calendar, lasts 15 days and ends with the Lantern Festival, explains the Director of the UG Confucius Institute,' - dr Magdalena Łągiewska. - 'This year, the celebration was started by the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Gdańsk. At the same time, as the Confucius Institute, we organised an event to crown the celebrations.'
The final day of the celebration of the Year of the Water Rabbit was highlighted by performances related to Chinese culture. A traditional Chinese dragon 'flew' into the auditorium at the Faculty of Law and Administration; there was also a short concert of Chinese music and a martial arts (wushu) demonstration.
Teachers from the UG Confucius Institute talked more about the Spring Festival itself. - 'Why will a water rabbit mark the coming year? The Chinese calendar is made up of two overlapping systems. The terrestrial branches, consisting of 12 animal images, and the celestial trunks, which contain the five elements, form the so-called six-year cycle,' - Zhang Ying recounted.
Experts from the UG Confucius Institute also explained the symbolism of red in Chinese culture, the meaning of food names and the various traditions associated with New Year celebrations.
There was also plenty of celebration in practice. Participants attempted to solve wordplay-based puzzles strung on red lanterns. Some competed against each other in a Chinese calendar competition, with prizes for attentive and active listeners of the lectures.
- 'I like the fact that Chinese New Year is also celebrated in other countries. This is the first time I have been away from my home town during this period. While these celebrations differ from those in China, the event gave me a lot of pleasure. I really appreciate the gesture,' says Yi Chuan, a student of Physical Education at the Jędrzej Śniadecki Academy of Physical Education and Sport in Gdańsk.
- 'I was invited here by my students for a martial arts show, but I did not expect such a plethora of fabulous attractions for adults, students and children. Chinese culture was presented in an attractive and accessible way. The Chinese horoscope was the most memorable for me, as my daughter and I took the longest time to think about the answers to the questions we asked,' - says dr Beata Wolska from AWFiS in Gdańsk.
Poles, including the Dean of the Faculty of Law and Administration, dr hab. Wojciech Zalewski, prof. UG attended the event, and the Deputy Chancellor of UG for Informatisation, Communication and Promotion, dr hab. inż. Aneta Oniszczuk-Jastrząbek, prof. UG, but there were also representatives of the People's Republic of China, including the Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Gdańsk, Fan Xiaodong.
- 'We invited the Chinese from Pomerania to participate in the event. First, there were teachers from the Confucius Institute, students from the Polish Studies UG in Harbin, and students from the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music and the Academy of Physical Education and Sport in Gdańsk. We wanted to show the diversity of Chinese culture through music, martial arts, tai-chi and, finally, language. We received tremendous support from Chinese companies, including Chipolbrok and 广东利元亨智能装备股份有限公司 Guangdong Lyric Robot Automation Co., Ltd., which lent us 150 lanterns,' says dr Magdalena Łagiewska.
The Year of the Water Rabbit officially began on January 23 this year and will run until February 10, 2024.