October 26, 2013, Confucius Institute at UCA (UCACI) hosted an activity of Experiencing Chinese Handcrafts at Faulkner County Library, Conway. This activity was the second in the series activities of Exploring Chinese Culture in collaboration with the Faulkner County Library.
The traditional Chinese handcrafts featured in this activity are paper-cutting and Chinese knots. First, two Chinese instructors from UCACI gave a short introduction lecture on Chinese paper-cutting and Chinese knot respectively. In the lectures on Chinese paper cutting, topics like origin, function, and patterns were introduced. For Chinese knots, the lecture covered its history, characteristics, symbolic meaning, and various types. During the lectures, participants actively took part in the quiz rounds and were rewarded with souvenirs of Chinese knot and paper-cutting. Participants were amazed by the beauty and artistic value of these two kinds of traditional Chinese handcrafts.
After the lectures, participants were divided into two groups according to their choices to learn how to make paper-cutting and Chinese knot. In the group of paper-cutting, UCACI staff showed participants how to cut double happiness and flower patterns. For participants who chose to learn to make Chinese knot, UCACI staff taught them how to make a four-row Pan Chang knot.
At the end of the activity, participants and teachers took a group photo of with their work pieces. participants expressed that they would like to teach their children or friends how to make these handcrafts and wished UCACI hold another activity like this to learn more about Chinese knot and paper-cutting.