October 12, 2013, Confucius Institute at UCA (UCACI) hosted a lecture on Chinese Tea Culture at Faulkner County Library, Conway. This activity was the first in the series activities of Exploring Chinese Culture in collaboration with the Faulkner County Library.
At the beginning of the activity, a video of tea and Chinese people’s daily life was shown to the participants informing them of the important role that tea plays in Chinese people’s life. Then, Dr. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI, gave a lecture on Chinese Tea Culture. Starting with tea and Confucian Thoughts, the lecture covered topics like tea and health, types of tea, the ways to select tea, tea wares, etc. While talking about how to brew tea and serve tea, Dr. Lu demonstrated Chinese tea ceremony to the audience. Participants were interested in different types of tea and the ways of brewing them, and they also learned how to appreciate green tea, white tea, and black tea. On the topics of tea and etiquette, Dr. Lu showed the participants some simple Chinese etiquette and expressions, like knocking the table twice to mean thanks, “nihao” (how are you?), “qingzuo” (Take the seat, please), “qing hecha” (Have some tea, please), “xiexie” (Thanks), etc. Participants learned these Chinese expressions and started to use them during the appreciation of tea.
With the help of UCACI staff, participants began to brew tea by themselves. They were especially interested in various tea wares, so they picked each of them up to observe and learned to brew tea. While brewing tea, participants also asked UCACI staff a lot of questions about tea and tea culture.
At the end of the activity, participants all gave high praise of Chinese tea and tea culture, and expressed thanks to UCACI for hosting such activities. Mrs. Nancy, staff at Faulkner County Library said, this activity displayed the profound Chinese tea culture in easy-to-understand approach and enriched the cultural life of the local community