Students, faculty join to share Chinese culture with community
Chinese calligraphy, martial arts and games such as “Mahjong” were just a few of the activities La Crosse community members enjoyed during Chinese Culture Day April 6 at UWL.
With the goal of introducing area high school students and other community members to Chinese culture, UWL Assistant Professor Hongying Xu, Global Cultures & Languages, and students in Chinese courses coordinated the events for a group of more than 40 people. This was the first time the UWL’s Global Cultures & Languages coordinated a day for local high school students and community members with the goal of sharing Chinese culture, adds Xu.
In addition to the experience for visitors, the event gave UWL Chinese language learners an opportunity to share what they’ve learned in courses, as well as their passion for Chinese language and culture, explains Xu.
Students helped plan activities such as Chinese calligraphy, paper-cut art, and blue and white porcelain pattern painting called Qinghua Ci. Participants enjoyed a traditional Chinese lunch, a Chinese martial arts presentation from UWL students and learning to play various traditional Chinese games such as “Mahjong” and Chinese chess. The day ended with a raffle drawing for Chinese calligraphy and paper-cutting pictures.
The event also serves to promote UWL’s Chinese program, which is taught entirely by native language speakers with doctoral degrees in second language acquisition and language pedagogy. UWL offers a Chinese Studies Minor and Chinese language courses at the 100, 200 and 300 levels, as well as a literature and civilization course, which is taught in English. Learn more about the program at www.uwlax.edu/global-cultures-and-languages/languages/chinese/
Chinese is an important language in an increasingly globalized economy as China is the second largest economy in the world and one out five people on this planet speaks Chinese, according to the program website.
“Overall the Chinese Culture Day was a major success,” says Xu.
She plans to continue to hold Chinese Culture Day at UWL in future years with the goal of expanding it to more community members. The event was funded by Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers (WAFLT).