On August 26th, 2013, the Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) hosted a Chinese Culture Fair in the center area of UCA campus. The event lasted from 10am to 4pm, with over 500 students, faculty, and people from the community participating in the fair and about 150 students signing up for Chinese cultural activities.
The Chinese Culture Fair consisted of three main sections: the exhibition section, the cultural experience section, and the information section. In the exhibition area, photos of previous Chinese cultural activities and programs were shown on four exhibition boards, such as Chinese Bridge Competition, Arkansas High School Students Summer Camp in China, Arkansas Educators’ China Tour, Chinese Culture Club, Chinese Immersion Program in Shanghai, etc. The exhibition boards gave participants a vivid presentation of the various activities organized by the Confucius Institute at UCA. Besides the photo exhibition, various other Chinese cultural exhibits, such as tea set, bamboo slip, Beijing opera mask, Chinese musical instrument, go, Chinese chess, Chinese games, palace lantern, Chinese knots, etc, attracted many people to drop by. Students showed strong interests in the exhibits introduced and explained by UCACI staff and they tried some hands-on activities.
At the information section, participants got flyers of the Chinese activities, Chinese language programs, Confucius Institute Scholarships, HSK and other detailed information from UCACI staff. At the same time, they could sign up for the cultural activities of Chinese club this fall semester. Many participants showed their enthusiasm in the activities, and some of them said they would consider taking Chinese courses in the semester to come.
At the cultural experience section, many students were excited to get a Chinese name and to have it written in Chinese calligraphy by Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of UCACI. They found that the Chinese calligraphy was “very cool” and they would like to frame their Chinese names and put them on the door of their dorms. This activity was very popular and people waited in a long line to get their Chinese names written in calligraphy. Chinese snacks, like spring rolls and fried dumplings, were also a great attraction.
The Chinese Cultural Fair helps UCA community get more information about the Chinese language programs offered by UCA and UCACI, inviting the university community to get involved in Chinese programs and cultural activities. It will be a regular activity of UCACI each semester.