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Chinese studies students at Rhodes are invited to apply for the Haihang Scholarship, which funds short-term study in China. To find out more, please read the following:
Chinese corner for High School students continues to be a fun place
Some members of DSG Mandarin class and Victoria Girls High School Mandarin Club attended their 6th language learning and Chinese cultural Event (Chinese Corner) for this year on the night of 29 October at the Chinese Centre, 36 Somerset Street. Two DSG teachers were also present. The 15 girls altogether were enjoying singing Chinese songs and had an evening full of fun and joy. The Chinese Corner, strongly supported by Prof. Marius Vermaark, the director of Confucius Institute at Rhodes University, is a regular event which provides the High School students, as well as the university students, who takes Mandarin with an opportunity to access to Chinese Culture and Chinese language learning in a lively and enjoyable way.
There have also been quite a number of "Chinese corners" for university students earlier this year.
"Have you learnt how to sing this one now?"
"Oh, I know how to sing this one!"
(Written by Shuying. The quotations are situational but may not match the pictures exactly.)
China Week and Confucius Institute Day - a great success
As the university community was still excited about the international flavour, including the taste of Chinese cuisine, brought about by the Heritage Day, a new tide of China wave followed the day. With the arrival of the visitors from our partner Jinan University from Guangzhou, China, and the invited guests from home and abroad, the annual China Week was unveiled with an exhibition of Chinese books and information on the decade of development of Confucius Institutes at the lobby of the library of Rhodes University.
This year is the China Year of South Africa, which will be followed by a South Africa Year of China in 2015. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Confucius Institutes around the world and hence the first Confucius Institute Day celebration on the 27th of September, which fell on the last day of this year's annual event of China Week.
To mark the occasion, Jinan University sent a large team from China to participate in both events. Their team consisted of 7 teachers and 6 students of martial arts specialists, who brought here not only the traditional Chinese martial arts show but also the dragon and lion dances.
From the second day of their arrival, the martial artists were busy visiting the local primary and secondary schools, giving demonstrations of lion dances, which became an eye opener for the school children and drew loud cheers from the kids. Besides, the martial artists visited the local martial artists and shared and exchanged their professional experiences. It is the first time that the different schools of local marital artists had a close contact with Chinese martial artists to share their experiences. In the evening of Friday, 26th of September, the visiting Chinese martial artists and the local ones jointly gave a free show to Grahamstown local community at the Box Theatre of Rhodes University. The audience filled the place and enjoyed a spectacular performance that they had ever had a chance to view on spot. This show pushed the week's activity to the peak.
Apart from these entertaining events, academic lectures and seminars were also held on an extensive range of topics across a number of disciplines and fields of research. Audiences include academics and students as well as the seniors from U3A. Renowned South African philosopher Prof Metz from the University of Johannesburg was also invited to give a talk on his recent research on the comparative studies of South African and Chinese philosophy. Falk Hartig, a researcher from Germany on the phenomenon of Confucius Institutes, was also invited to deliver a talk as a special commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Confucius Institutes.
The activities continued on the 27th of September, the first Confucius Institute Day, at the Chinese Cultural Centre on 36 Somerset Street, when the local Upstarters joined the day's open house celebration by having fun in learning some Chinese, calligraphy and Chinese painting and even some Chinese gongfu. The day started with another show of dragon and lion dances that amused the visitors to the open house activities. Some local visitors also consulted the traditional Chinese medical doctor for therapy and advice at the session when they drank Chinese tea and discussed the issue of keeping healthy with the traditional Chinese medicinal methods.
2014 China Week and the first Confucius Institute Day celebration ended with a satisfactory touch of food and souvenirs as well as positive comments from the open house participants. The week long celebration became an ever successful one accompanied by the dynamic lion and dragon dances that lasted for about a week at this small town with a historic significance.
10th Anniversary of Confucius Institute and Confucius Institute Day
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Confucius Institute establishment and the Headquarters of Confucius Institute has decided on the 27th of September as the Confucius Institute Day celebration.
10 years ago, the world's first Confucius Institute was inaugurated in Seoul, Korea. This opened up a new era of Sino-foreign cooperation in running Chinese language programs, to promote Chinese language and culture around the world. Confucius Institute's first principle is based on a cooperation for mutual benefit and win-win development model to promote the language and culture. Today, according to the official figures, there have been 459 Confucius Institutes and 713 Confucius Classrooms established all over the world in 122 countries and regions. As of the end of 2013, registered students of Confucius Institute/Classroom has reached 850,000.
According to reports, the Chinese proficiency exams, commonly known as HSK, HSKK, and YCT, started to be tested from 1991 out of China. There were at the time only 128 candidates participated in Singapore. However, when the Confucius Institutes were established in 2004, the candidates overseas had increaded dramatically and reached 30,000. By the end of 2013, cadidates for all types of Chinese exams of all forms including the national certification examinations on Chinese in some countries around the world, personalized Chinese examinations, the Confucius Institute / Classroom testing, Internet online testing, Elementary Chinese Examination and so on, have made a breakthrough of five million people, among which the number of candidates attending the Hanban administered Chinese tests, including HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test), YCT (Youth Chinese exam), BCT (business Chinese Test) has reached a record high of 372,000 people in the world. Currently there are over 875 Chinese language exam test sites throughout in the world in 114 countries and regions.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Confucius Institutes, the Headquarters annouced the setting up of the Confucius Insitute Day on the 27th of September every year. On that day, the Confucius Institutes around the world will hold celebrations and activities together to mark the occasion. As this day will coincide with the China Week at Rhodes University, the Confucius Institutes will naturally take this day as the peak celebration of the week. Guest speakers around the world, in particular from our partner university in China, Jinan University, will come to join us for the celebration. Lectures, seminars, exhibitions, cutlural shows like martical arts and others will be the focused activities of the week. Let's join hands to meet this festival week of celebrations.
CIRU says Goodbye to Saleem
On 26 of May 2014, memebers of Confucius Institute at Rhodes University (CIRU) bid farewell to the Vice Chancellor, Dr Saleem Badat, of Rhodes University. It is an emotional occasion when the staff recalled the precious support that VC has given to CIRU from the very beginning of its establishment. An MOU was signed in 2007 between Rhodes University and the Headquarters of Confucius Institutes /Hanban in Beijing and in the following year a supplementary agreement was signed between Rhodes University and Jinan University in Guangzhou, China, which was followed by the start of the Chinese Studies programme at the School of Languages in 2009.
During the past few years, the VC has visited the Headaurters of CI's / Hanban in Beijing twice and established a cordial working relationship with Hanban and the partner univeristy in China. This helps greatly in consolidating the partnership between CIRU and the Headquarters / Hanban and in guaranteeing the funding and support from Hanban, which is described by the VC as a welcome funding effort that provides the financial support much needed for the development of the academic programme of such a kind at Rhodes University. The VC's support enables CIRU to play its crucial role in its academic endeavour in the establishment of Chinese Studies programme at the School of Language, which has proved to be unique in South Africa and provides the students a rare opportunity to expand their vision into the Orient. As a result, it brought not only continued funding support from the Headquarters but also the recognition by Hanban to attribute CIRU as one of the few "Model CI's" around the world, with an additional building fund of one million US dollars.
Dr Badat's departure will definitely be sorely missed by the CIRU that owes so much of its successful operation to his support. But the CIRU strongly believes that with the solid foundation that the VC has helped to establish, CIRU will have continued support from the Headquarters and will continue to make its contribution to the academic growth of Chinese Studies programme at Rhodes University and to serve the academic needs and cultural understanding of Rhodes students and Grahamstown community.
VC Meets the Chinese Ambassador
On 29th of April 2014, Vice Chancellor, Dr Saleem Badat, visited the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria. He met and talked with the Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, His Excellency, Mr. Tian Xuejun. The VC and the Ambassador had a very friendly talk on issues related to the future of Confucius Institute at Rhodes University. The Ambassador appreciated Dr Badat's support to the development of Confucius Institute at Rhodes University and promised that the Chinese Embassy will continue to support the Confucius Insitute at Rhodes University.
The Ambassador mentioned that 2014 is the Year of South Africa in China and 2015 the Year of China in South Africa. He believes that relations between China and South Africa will continue to be strong in future to come. The VC and the Ambassador exchanged views on a number of important issues related to the future of Confucius Institute at Rhodes University. The VC assured the Ambassador that the support from Rhodes University will continue as well. The visit is believed to yield surely positve results to issues that are of concerns of the Confucius Institute at Rhodes University.
To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Establishment of Confucius Institutes around the world, the Headquarters of Confucius Institutes has requested every Confucius Insititute to make its own version of documentary to commemorate the event. With the support from the Heasquarters, Confucius Institute at Rhodes University (CIRU) has also made a documentary to mark the occasion by showing the growth of CIRU in the past five years.
The CIRU story in the documentary is basically told by Daniel Charvat, who was a former Rhodes student that was among the first group of Rhodes students who did Chinese Studies at the School of Languages Rhodes University sponsored by CIRU in 2009. He later got a Chinese government scholarship and did his Masters degree in global economics journalism at Qinghua University in Beijing, China. Daniel told the story of CIRU by telling his own experience in association with the activities of Confucius Institute. A number of key people related to CIRU were interviewed in the documentary. It was shown in public for the first time at the Chinese Speech and Talents Show Comepetition held at Barrat Lecture Theater on the 26th of April.
Chinese Speech and Talents Show
The 1st Rhodes University Chinese Speech and Talents Show was held on the 26th of April 2014 at the Barrat Lecture Theatre 2. Chinese studies students gather together to compete by delivering a speech in Chinese and show their talents by performing in various ways in relation to aspects of Chinese culture. They also did a written test on the Chinese language and culture before the actual speech and talents show began.
The Vice Chancellor, Dr. Saleem Badat, opened the event with a speech. He praised the students who have made an effort to take Chinese studies and expose themselves to a different language and culture. He encouraged the students to meet the challenge in learning something that they may benefit in their life. Dr Badat expressed his appreciation to the Chinese Hanban and the Confucius Institute at Rhodes University for their funding and support for the Chinese studies program. The Director of Consular Section of the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Cape Town, Mr Zhang Yong, and his colleague, Mr. Li Jun, Consular, were present at the competition. Mr Zhang also gave a speech at the opening and thanked Rhodes University for supporting the development of the Chinese studies program. The director of Confucius Institute at University of Cape Town, Prof. Evance Kalula, the Chinese Director of the Confucius Insititute at Stellenbosch Univerisity, Prof Xie Zuoxu, and the director of Confucius Classroom of Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science and Techonology also came to the event and acted as judges to the competition.
Two first year and one third year Chinese studies students won the top three prizes. They will be supported by the Confucius Institute at Rhodes University to participate in the regional preliminary contest of Chinese Bridge, a Chinese proficiency competiton, in Cape Town in the middle of May.
Although the event took place at the time of a long weekend, there were still a fair number of people that came to the competition to cheer the constestants. The event was a success. It ended with a cheerful finger food chatting session with dishes provided by the local Chinese restaurant and some varieties by the Chinese teachers from the Chinese Cultural Centre at 36 Seomerset Street.
2014 Confucius Institute Scholarship Now Opens to Application
2014 Confucius Institute Scholarship is now open to application. Interested students may go to the CI Scholarship website (http://cis.chinese.cn) to make application.
5 Categories of scholarships are on offer, including Category B: Scholarship for One-Semester Students; Category C: Scholarship for One-Academic Year Students; Category D: Scholarship for Students of BTCSOL; Category G: Scholarship for Students of MTCSOL; and Category H: Scholarship for Students of One-Academic Year +MTCSOL Students. (NB: BTCSOL = Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages; MTCSOL = Master’s Degree in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages)
You need to read the Recruitment Procedures for Confucius Institute Scholarship (2014) carefully in order to decide which category you are qualified for.
"Applicants shall be non-Chinese citizens in good health, aged between 16 and 35 (Chinese language teachers in post shall be aged below 45, and applicants for BTCSOL scholarship should be aged below 20)."
"Scholarship winners are exempt from registration fees, tuition, fees for basic learning materials, accommodation fees on campus, and are provided with a one-off resettlement subsidy, monthly living allowance, outpatient medical service and comprehensive insurance for foreign students studying in China. Monthly living allowances are provided at the following rates (CNY Yuan per month):
a. CNY 1,400 for One-Academic-Year Students and One-Semester Students.
b. CNY 1,700 for Master’s Degree Students.
The one-off resettlement subsidy is CNY 1,500 for students who will study in China for one academic year or more; CNY 1,000 will be provided for all students who studies in China for one semester; the one-off resettlement subsidy will not be provided for those who have studied in China for more than half a year before being enrolled."
For enquiries, please visit Room 58, the office of Chinese Studies at top floor of School of Languages. You can also get information from the Chinese teachers at 36 Somerset Street, Chinese Cultural Centre.
You can also download the following two documents from here:
Students of Chinese at High Schools Celebrate the "Year of Horse"
31st January 2014 is the first day of Chinese New Year according to the Chinese lunar calendar, which is also called the "Spring Festival" in Chinese. It is a folk festival celebrated by all Chinese around the world, as well as by a few other Asian nations. One ancient tradition of China to mark the cycle of the years is to use 12 "earthly branches", each of which corresponds to an animal, twelve in all. This year it happens to be a "Wu Nian" according to the earthly branches, with "Wu" representing the "Year of Horse".
What is "Nian"? _ I know the story!
A celebration of the Chinese New Year was held at the Chinese Cultural Centre at 36 Somerset Street, which was joined by the students of Chinese classes from DSG and St. Andrews' College. Learning and experiencing the cultural customs has proved to be an effective way that facilites the learning of a language. DSG and St. Andrews' start to offer Chinese at Grade 8 and Grade 9 this year. To help the learners to better understand the background of the Chinese language, the Chinese teachers organized the Chinese New Year celebration activity for the beginners of Chinese from the two schools.
The Chinese teachers prepared the traditional food themselves and decorated the Chinese Cultural Centre with the traditional Chinese red lanterns and paper cuttings. The students told the stories about the Chinese New Year and some enthuiastic students acted out the story to add to the strong impression and experience of the legends. Then the students enjoyed the traditional Chinese food most popularly served on the occasion, in particular, jiaozi, boiled dumplings.
Chinese teacher is demonstrating the use of chopsticks
Understanding China _ A new non-major course will be added to Rhodes course list from 2014
Understanding China is fifteen credit HEQSF level 6 course (i.e. formally called a semester long course at second year level) offered during the first semester. Understanding China combines an introduction to elementary Chinese language for practical purposes with an exploration of the key concepts, historical events and social processes for understanding China in the 21st century. This is a non-major course with no prerequisite requirements. Understanding China may be taken in the second or subsequent academic years (but not the first) provided that it may not be taken in a curriculum which includes any courses in Chinese Studies.