2015 September Culture Month: Music and Nature

September culture performance

On 1–2 September Xiamen University Dean of Arts, Professor Su Li, and Vice Dean, Professor Chen Shuhua, visited the New Zealand School of Music (NZSM) at Victoria University of Wellington. The warm and successful discussions were facilitated by the Confucius Institute performers. With the support of Hanban and Xiamen University, the Confucius Institute at Victoria University of Wellington is establishing a collection of Chinese traditional musical instruments at the University. This will stimulate and increase Chinese musical skills and knowledge among New Zealand music teachers and students

Another successful visit in September was the cultural tour by the Huazhong University of Science and Technology Performance Troupe to Wellington, which was fully facilitated by the University’s Confucius Institute to mark Chinese Language Week. Financial resources and assistance to organise Discover China cultural workshops (calligraphy, painting, folk dance), as well as the use of the Confucius Institute’s Chinese banners, tea sets and lanterns, were given to Wellington East Girls’ College for its launch of Chinese Language Week on 8 September.

Continuing with a musical focus, on 26 September, under the guidance of our Arts Adviser Luo Hui and NZSM Director Euan Murdoch, the University’s Confucius Institute presented a concert, China Revisited, by the New Zealand String Quartet (NZSQ), in Wellington to honour Jack Body. The concert was a prelude to Body Music 2015, an international conference at the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music in Hangzhou in December that will celebrate Jack’s life and works. The NZSQ and NZSM, supported by the University’s Confucius Institute, will attend and perform at the conference.

You can hear, see and read more about China Revisited following the links below:

Listen to: China Revisited—a tribute to Jack Body

Listen to: Luo Hui and Helene Pohl—China Revisited


panda

Confucius Institute Day was highlighted by another theme, ‘Confucius and Nature’. On 24 September Dr Edith McDonald, conservation psychologist and researcher of the Giant Panda, spoke to students of Te Aro School and Sacred Heart School in Wellington. Dr McDonald emphasised the Confucian value of nature as a fundamental source of knowledge and taught the children about the panda’s biology, inspiring them with stories about her work at Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan and San Diego Zoo in the US in successfully conserving and breeding the panda species. Dr McDonald, with Professor Wayne Linklater of Victoria University of Wellington gave a public lecture on Confucius, Nature and Pandaon 1 October. The lecture focused on endangered species and China’s ground breaking success in panda conservation in the wild and in partnership with zoos around the world.

september culture day

In the community all through September the University’s Confucius Institute supported and organised, through our Mandarin Language Assistants, many cultural events that let New Zealanders young and old enjoy the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival—through music, dance, qipao displays, cultural performances, mooncakes and tea and much more. The Mandarin Language Assistants were instrumental in organising and leading many of these cultural events with great enthusiasm and ability at their schools.