On Feb. 15, the Confucius Institute at WKU will host the Xiamen University Student Art Group for a free performance at Downing University Center’s Auditorium at 7 p.m.
The performance will feature traditional Chinese instruments such as the Erhu, Pipa, Dulcimer and bamboo flute; Chinese martial arts; Fujian local puppetry demonstration and ethnic song and dance from Yunnan, Tibet and Xinjiang.
The Xiamen University Student Art Group, as the name suggests, consists mainly of talented students with a passion for arts. It is made up of a choir, a dancing team, a team for traditional musical instruments, a hip-hop team, a cross-talk team and a T-stage model team. Team members are selected by each school and college from students in both undergraduate and master’s degree programs. Since its establishment, the Art Group has been quite active in enlivening campus culture and promoting excellent traditional Chinese culture, a unique part of students’ life on campus.
Dr. Wei-Ping Pan, director of WKU’s Confucius Institute, said the performance is part of the Chinese New Year celebration, with 2011 being the year of the rabbit.
“One of the main missions of the Confucius Institute is to disseminate Chinese language and culture throughout south-central Kentucky,” Dr. Pan said. “What better way to illustrate that vision than to bring in one of the best traveling art troupes in China! We are also contributing directly to the University’s vision of a leading American university with international reach by hosting this incredibly talented group of young people.”
Xiamen University, where the Art Group hails from, was founded in 1921 by Tan Kah Kee, the well-known patriotic Chinese leader, and is one of China’s higher-level universities. Over the past 89 years, as a result of following the school motto, (Pursue Excellence, Strive for Perfection), Xiamen University has created rich offerings in its educational programs, an example of which is its Student Art Group. The university has a total enrollment of more than 38,000 full-time students on campus, including 20,827 undergraduates, 14,901 master students, 2,483 doctoral students, and 2,022 international students. Xiamen University is making great strides towards its goal of “building a high-level research-oriented university well-known both at home and abroad.”
The hosts of this event, the Confucius Institute and Hanban of the Chinese Ministry of Education, work to promote understanding of the Chinese language and culture through children’s programming, training courses, cultural workshops, and community events. These organizations have introduced fully articulated K-16 instruction in Modern Standard Chinese in the local school systems, serve as a regional center for Chinese teacher training and Chinese curriculum development, and build connections and partnerships between Kentucky and China.
For information about the Confucius Institute, visit www.wku.edu/ci or call (270) 745-2836.