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The 2017 "Open Day - Experience China" event successfully held in New York
2017/05/25

The 2017 “Open Day - Experience China” was successfully held at the Chinese Consulate General in New York on May 5, 2017. More than 200 K-12 students, their teachers and parents from Bard High School Early College, Bayside High School, Medgar Evers College Preparatory School, PS119, MS118, BASIS Independent School, Pace Academy and Maspeth High School in New York, as well as Glen Ridge High School and Montville Township High School in New Jersey were invited to join the event. This was the second time that the Chinese Consulate General organized the “Open Day - Experience China” event for K-12 students in the U.S.

Under the theme of “Experience China”, the event provided an opportunity for the students to explore the Chinese traditional activities, including calligraphy, paper cutting, chopsticks competition, origami, tying Chinese knot, matching Chinese words, etc. in an entertaining and educational way. At the same time, students could collect stickers to put on their “Passports” through playing Guzheng, a traditional Chinese musical instrument, learning paper cutting, using chopsticks and other activities in exchange for prizes. Thus the students could learn Chinese language, understand Chinese culture and savor Chinese food in a relaxing and vibrant atmosphere, which greatly enhanced their interest and motivation in learning Chinese.

   
   
   

Acting Consul General Cheng Lei and Education Counselor Xu Yongji of the Chinese Consulate General in New York attended the event. Cheng Lei pointed out in his speech that President Xi Jinping announced that China would support 50,000 Chinese and American students in total to study in the other country in the next 3 years during his state visit to the U.S. in September 2015. The U.S. side announced it would try to achieve the goal of having one million U.S. students studying Chinese by 2020. In the recent meeting of the two heads of state, President Xi Jinping again underlined that people-to-people and cultural exchanges are foundation of bilateral relation. Both countries should enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges and expand friendly exchanges between their peoples, so as to provide more positive energy for the long-term and healthy development of China-U.S. Relations. Cheng hoped that the students would continue learning Chinese well and actively participate in the communication and interaction between the two peoples, especially the younger generation, so as to become the young envoys of promoting and maintaining the friendly relations between China and the U.S.

Daniel Tizol, Assistant Principal at Bayside High School, introduced the situation of Chinese teaching in the school. Tizol said that the development of Chinese teaching not only enhanced the communications between the students as well as teachers and China, but also stimulated students’ interest in understanding and learning different cultures. He encouraged the students to put more effort to persistently learn Chinese.

Students of the Diabolo Team from Bayside High School performed on diabolos at the event. Their wonderful skills made the audience burst into applause. Students from Montville Township High School performed a group talk show called “Shared Values of China and the U.S.”. Their fluent and accurate Chinese dialogue surprised all the audience. It is worth noting that students of the Consulate's Sunshine School also attended the event. They had an in-depth exchange with their friends in the U.S and brought a performance of reading picture book “My Dad, My Mom”. Some of the calligraphy lovers among them also helped the American students to experience calligraphy.

 
 
 

Teacher Li Zhaohong from St.Paul School in New Hampshire taught Chinese at the event, demonstrating the fun of learning Chinese. Under the guidance of Li, the students actively interacted and practised with each other, and soon acquired the new knowledge. 9th Grade student Jayson Baptiste from Medgar Evers College Preparatory School shared his original intention and feelings of learning Chinese. As Jayson had already started AP Chinese Language and Culture course, he hoped that more and more American students would start to learn Chinese, to experience the profound culture and modern development of China, so as to broaden horizons and explore a new world.

The Open Day event was supported by the Confucius Institute (CI) Headquarters (Hanban) in Beijing, and the directors and teachers in CIs in the New York area, including those at University of Massachusetts-Boston, China Institute, Pace University, Alfred University, New Jersey City University, CI for Business at SUNYas well as CI of Optometry at SUNY They elaborately designed a variety of experience projects for the event and assigned lots of teachers and volunteers on-site to guide the students to study and experience.

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