New Year Greetings from UCA President Tom Courtway
On January 31st, 2013, Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) held the Chinese New Year Reception at Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center, which was decorated with Chinese knots, red lanterns, New Year scrolls, and colorful balloons. Over 150 Chinese and American faculty, staff, and students at UCA, as well as people from local communities were invited to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival.
Accompanied with Chinese New Year music, the New Year Reception started with a slide show to review UCACI in 2013, showing the major programs and activities UCACI has done in 2013. It was followed by an exciting lion dance performed by the American students from Central High School in Little Rock. UCA President Tom Courtway and Provost Steven Runge gave new year greetings to the audience. They both expressed their thanks to UCACI for its contributions to academic and cultural diversity on campus, and they wished all the Chinese faculty and students a happy Chinese New Year. Mr. Michael Rowland from Arkansas Department of Education spoke highly of the productive work of UCACI in the Teach Chinese in Arkansas program. Mr. Robert Moore, Assistant Superintendent in Rogers School District, commended the Chinese program in his school district and thanked the Hanban Chinese teacher in his school district for his excellent work. Mrs. Nancy Allen, Director of Faulkner County Library (Conway) spoke of the cooperation with UCACI and she thanked UCACI for enriching the cultural life of the local community. Then Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of UCACI, Dr. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI and other Chinese teachers wished everyone a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year.
The second part of the Reception was New Year Feast with various delicious Chinese food and wonderful performances. American and Chinese students worked together on artistic performances with ancient and modern, Chinese and Western elements: the Fashion Show displayed the glamorous traditional Chinese costumes and ethnic minority groups’ clothes; the Chinese song by American students showed the progress they have made in learning Chinese; the beautiful melody of the string trio by music-majored exchange students from East China Normal University (ECNU) enchanted the audience; the shadow puppy adapted from Chinese classic literature The Journey to the West was an eye-opener to American audience. Besides, there was Taichi performance, opera, Uyghur dance, Han Dynasty’s dance, etc. The reception concluded with a song sung by all the Hanban Chinese teachers.
On January 26th, UCACI worked with Chinese Scholars and Students Association at UCA and other universities in Arkansas to host the Chinese New Year Celebration Gala in Little Rock. Over 300 people from local community and Chinese community attended the Gala. They were greatly impressed by the string trio and singing presented by exchange students from ECNU.
By hosting the Chinese New Year Reception, UCACI took this opportunity to extend its thanks to all the people for their continuous support and help. Also, the reception provided a great opportunity to bring Chinese culture to American people, which strengthened the connections between UCACI, the university, and the local community.
UCA students singing a Chinese song