On March 4th, the journalist received a phone call from Mrs. Wang Hongwei, the Chinese director of Confucius Institute, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, USA. She told the journalist with excitement that since she took the office two months before, the Chinese and American faculty and students have successfully carried out a series of cultural events, such as the Open Day of Confucius Institute, the performance of Jilin University Art Troupe sponsored by Hanban (Confucius Institute Headquarters), Spring Festival Gala of Confucius Institute, and the lecture “A Brief Introduction to China and Chinese Table Etiquette”. Currently, the Institute is carrying out affairs in good order.
On the Open Day of Confucius Institute, Mrs. Kathy Kopp, the President of Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce (Second from left)，and Mrs. Maciej-Hiner, the director of Confucius Institute (third from left) exchange ideas with Ms. Wang Hongwei, the Chinese director of Confucius Institute (second from right).
On the evening of January 11th, the day Mrs. Wang just arrived at Confucius Institute, she participated in activities of the “Open Day” together with other Chinese faculty. “This was the first important event for Confucius Institute in this semester, even in this school year. I was quite nervous to participate in such an important event, but I also benefited a lot.” She said. The Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce and people from local communities visited Confucius Institute. The teachers from South-Central University for Nationalities showed guests Chinese paper-cutting and calligraphy. They also provided scissors and paper to visitors for their firsthand experience. The meeting room of Confucius Institute was in a friendly and joyful atmosphere with applauses and laughter. The Open Day ended with great success.
The Chinese teacher Wu Lin exhibits Chinese Paper-cutting. Mr. David Vanburen, the American director of Confucius Institute (male), watches with much interest.
February 5th was not only the day for the fourth Spring Festival Gala of Confucius Institute, but also the day for the final match of American “Super Bowl”, National Football League. “We were worried about the number of the audience, which might affect the effect of the performance.” Wang said. Surprisingly, all the tickets had been distributed a week before the gala, and there were even some people wandering outside the performance site on the evening, complaining about their failure to get tickets. It was rare for people in Platteville, a city with less than 20,000 habitants. A series of excellent shows, including folk dance, songs, and national costume show, aroused great interest of the audience. The websites and newspapers of Platteville campus warmly reported the gala on the following day, and the newspaper Telegraph Herald also reported the gala in a prominent place.
Influenced by regional factors, the courses in Confucius Institute were all short-term courses for pupils, on-the-job adults, college students, and company staffs, and the teaching contents were mostly elementary Chinese. At present, the institute has set up one on-campus teaching center and five out-of-campus ones.
To spread the Chinese traditional culture efficiently and attract more friends, the Chinese faculty has started new courses and featured courses, such as Chinese Folk Music, Chinese Paper-cutting, Chinese Calligraphy, Chinese Language Teaching for American Parents, and Chinese Cooking, which have attracted lots of Americans. “The cooperation with American university not only provides opportunities of study and communication for people from different cultures, but also enhances the friendship between two universities as well as people from two countries. It is a bridge for the promotion and spread of Chinese traditional culture.” Wang said.