by Jennifer Sanguano
Schools from different counties gathered at Central Connecticut State University to participate in a professional talent show, showcasing talented guests from a university in China.
The event was part of CCSU’s fourth annual Confucius Institute Day and Mid-Autumn Celebration that was held on Friday, Sept. 29.
The Confucius Institute at CCSU began in 2014 with help from the modern language department, the Chinese club organization and local school districts.
Over 500 institutes celebrate Confucius Institute day globally. CCSU Confusions is the only one in Connecticut, and works with sister university Shandong Normal University in China to promote Chinese culture and language learning among schools and universities in CT.
“It’s a great involvement (activity) with community engagement,” associate director Zongxiang Mei explained.
The event kicked off with performances by students who chose an activity to perform. It was then succeeded by a performance of college students from China, whowere part of a tour show in the New England area.
“Every year we work with different universities, so this part is more professional and more authentic for student’s learners to experience Chinese culture including martial arts, singing and opera. It depends,” Mei said.
Middle schools from Hamden, Glastonbury, Avon, West Hartford and several others, gathered together to celebrate both the Confucius Institutes’ contributions to the community and the Mid-Autumn Celebration, which is a traditional Chinese holiday.
The Mid-Autumn Celebration is known as the moon festival and was initiated by Chinese emperors who worshiped the harvest moon in autumn.
Audience members enjoyed a fun learning environment including Chinese arts, poetry and the Shadow Puppet Show, performed fully in mandarin Chinese by students from various ethnical backgrounds.
Despite the great acceptance of this event in the community, this year’s assistance was effected by recent budget cuts.
“Last year we got 800 middle schoolers. This year, because of the budget reason, we got over 500. We got a lot of support from school districts,” Mei said.
An effort to make the event successful was in thanks to the CCSU Chinese club organization, according to Mei. The club volunteered to help with the logistics of the event.
“We appreciate Chinese club and volunteers that want to help, they are not all Chinese born students. There also some American students who also want to learn from Chinese Culture and we want to encourage that as well,” Mei explained.
This annual event is open to the public and is celebrated during the last week of September. Each year different shows are presented and can vary from martial arts, singing, playing traditional instruments and acting numbers.
Community members are encouraged to attend in any future events. More information can be found at the CCSU Confucius Institute page, www.ccsu.edu/ci.