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On November 21st, 2014, volunteers from Confucius Institute at San Diego State University attended the annual multicultural festival at Hilltop Middle School in support of the Chinese language and culture program. The event consisted of several live entertainment shows； such as student performances, Polynesian dance, Chinese martial arts, and a music band, among others.
CISDSU Office Manager, Jonathan Lee; Project Coordinator, Jackie Fernandez; and Project Intern, Alex Doan; set up a display to promote the 2015 Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for U.S. High School Students Program; they also provided the opportunity for students to learn how to play the Chinese yoyo (Diabolo), a traditional juggling prop. Students showed great interest in learning about the history of Chinese Yo-Yo, and practiced to master their skill. At the end of the event, CISDSU raffled three wooden Diabolos for students to take home and enjoy.
On the evening of October 2, 2014, the Kick-off Celebration, “CHEW THE SCENE”, of the 15th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival was held at the McMillin Event Center in NTC Liberty Station. “CHEW THE SCENE” was a celebration of the Asian Food culture, showcasing a wide variety of Asian flavors, cooking techniques, and diverse traditions in San Diego; it offered guests an opportunity to sample the products from San Diego’s iconic restaurants and beverages. Supporters of this event included not just the local restaurants, beverage distributors, but many corporations as well. CI at SDSU was the sole sponsor providing the foods at the VIP Tastemaker show at the beginning of the kick-off celebration.
The Pacific Arts Movement Founder and Executive Director, Lee Ann Kim, invited renowned chef, Mr. Jimmy Chen to the podium at her opening speech to introduce his 6-course, 3 plates menu to the audience. By special invitation from Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, Chef Chen has been known for his innovative fusion of combining Asian and Western food ingredients for his unique menu. For this kick-off event, for instance, his menu included Watermelon & Balsamic Caviar Skewer, Quail Egg and Seafood Aspic, etc…The VIP guests were pleasantly surprised by the scrumptious flavor of each plate, both from the flavor and the sensual visual effect. Other local famed chefs, including Su-Mei Yu, and Beverly Kim were invited to share their professional expertise with the guests.
In addition to the VIP guests who graciously supported the Tastemaker presentation by their generous donation, there were more than 500 supporters of Pacific Arts Movement attended this event. A sample introduction of this year’s films gave the audience a brief glance at a few popular features of this year’s collection of more than 140 films from 21 countries.
The crowd was treated to other entertainments at the end of the gala, including silent and live auction, and raffle prizes, which brought everyone to an exciting cheery mood.
On September 13th, 2014, a celebration gala for the 65th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China was held at the Marriott Hotel in La Jolla. Consul General of the People’s Republic of China from The Consulate General Office in Los Angeles, Mr. & Mrs. Jian Liu; Xiaoling Chen; Consul from the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles, Xiang Zhou; San Diego County Supervisor, Dave Roberts; Former San Diego City Councilman Tom Hom; Historian specialist, Loretta Lum; and representatives of key community and state leaders, were among the 400 guests attending this joyous occasion. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng; Project Manager, Anne Chu; and project coordinators, Vicky Hsu, Yueying Zhan, and Denise He, attended the banquet in celebration of the Anniversary.
As the Executive Chairmen of the Gala, President of San Diego Chinese American Association and SDSU Professor, Dr. Samuel Shen opened the ceremony with his greetings to all, also a special welcome for Consul General, Mr. Jian Liu of his first visit to San Diego. Consul General Liu, San Diego County Supervisor, Dave Roberts; also addressed to the guests their congratulatory statements to the celebration of the Mid-autumn Festival and the 65th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. A video of China’s recent development and a video collage of past celebrations of the Chinese community in San Diego were shown during luncheon.
Other performances, including dances, musical solo and quartet, poetry recitals and Kung Fu demonstration, from local art troupes and students provided entertainments at the end of the banquet.
From August 11 to August 22, 2014, the 6th Annual Chinese Summer Camp Program organized by Confucius Institute at San Diego State University (CI at SDSU) took place on SDSU campus. The two-week program was richly designed, by CI at SDSU staff members and Chinese teachers, with Chinese classes and Chinese cultural activities. This annual program not only improved students’ language skill in Chinese, but also enriched their cultural experience and understanding.
A major difference from the previous years was the significant increase in student enrollment. There were around 38 students each week; most of them are K-5 students, ranging from age 6 to 11, who study in local Confucius classrooms. Based on each student’s age and language proficiency level, CI at SDSU divided the students into two groups. Chinese teacher, Lili Gong was in charge of teaching the advanced class, while Rong Zhao and Ming Qu were in charge of teaching the lower-grade class. These teachers designed their teaching contents and activities according to different levels. In addition, CI at SDSU invited more than 20 volunteers to assist in classroom activities, their involvement helped to improve students’ participation greatly.
The Chinese Summer Camp program combined language teaching with cultural activities, aiming to improve students’ language acquisition, as well as to immerse them in Chinese culture. Daily program started with an one-hour Chinese language class, followed by an hour of Chinese culture class, such as Tai Chi, Lantern painting, Chinese yoyo, Chinese music, Chinese painting, Jianzi making, paper cutting, calligraphy and Kung-fu. In the afternoon, CI teachers prepared traditional Chinese games for the students, such as jianzi kicking and rope jumping. The daily program ended with Chinese movies or cartoons, which were popular among the students. Every Friday, parents were invited to join in at the show where students performed to show what they had learned during the week.
The Chinese Summer Camp program from CI at SDSU combined learning with joy. At the end of the summer camp, students and parents expressed their gratitude to CI teachers and volunteers, and wished for a more extraordinary program for next year.
On August 11, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was invited to visit the Chinese Navy Destroyer ‘Haikou’. Three Chinese Navy Ships, Destroyer Haikou, Frigate Yueyang and Supply Ship Qiandaohu, came to San Diego Naval Base on Sunday, August 10th, 2014. These ships were part of a team of four Chinese Navy Ships participating in the world’s largest international naval exercise, Rim of the Pacific.
Several cultural performances were provided by the crew of Haikou, including Lion Dance, Chinese Gourd Instrument and Chinese Kung Fu.
On August 7th, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, met with Executive Director of Pacific Arts Movement, Lee Ann Kim, and Public Relations and Communications Coordinator, Lauren Manalo. The main agenda of this meeting was focused on the 10th Anniversary celebration of Confucius Institute.
In this initial planning conference, it was determined that CI would provide a speaker and a cooking demonstration by a chef of Chinese cuisine at the opening gala of Pacific Arts Movement, “Storytelling through Food and Film”, on October 2, 2014 at the McMillin Event Center.
Other discussions focused on future collaborations and program development.
On August 7, 2014, Education Abroad Advisor of International Student Center at San Diego State University, Inemesit Williams, visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. Ms. Williams came to learn more about CI and its objectives.
As a newly appointed advisor of the International Student Center, Ms. Williams is in charge of recruiting students to study abroad in Asia. She has studied Mandarin and lived in China for a couple of years in the past. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, gave Ms. Williams a brief introduction on the current CI programs; she encouraged Ms. Williams to join the Chinese Club or Chinese Corner to further her Chinese proficiency.
On July 19, 2014, on behalf of Confucius Institute (CI) at San Diego State University (SDSU), Managing Director of the CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the “Photographs of the Great Wall of China: A Photo Exhibit by Chen Changfen (陈长芬)” opening reception held at San Diego Chinese Historical Museum (SDCHM). Dr. Lilly Cheng also acted as the emcee of this event. Other guests included Carol Richardson, Dean of College of Letters & Science at National University, Dr. Alexander Chuang, Executive Director of SDCHM, and museum members.
Following an introduction of the history of the Great Wall by Dr. Chuang, photographer Chen Changfeng, shared with the audience about his life-long works in photography. Mr. Chen has chosen the Great wall to be the main subject of his work. Through his lens, he presented the Great Wall as a barrier between people, which was true according to its original design. Additionally, he captured the lifestyle of people who live at the Great Wall, symbolizing the historical integration between man and nature. Through his story telling, he contended that the meaning of photography is to diminish the barrier between people, and to showcase the people’s natural expressions.
In the afternoon of July 17, 2014, newly appointed Provost of San Diego State University, Dr. Chukuka S. Enwemeka, visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University on his tour of SDSUcampus. Provost Enwemeka was accompanied by Executive Director of CI/SDSU and Dean of College of Arts and Letters, Dr. Paul Wong. Dr. Enwemeka and Dr. Wong also visited CI/SDSU’s library in Storm Hall. Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, Co-Director of CI/SDSU, Prof. Lu Wei, and Associate Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Dr. Vinod Sasidharan, greeted the group upon their arrival.
After brief introductions, Dr. Cheng introduced the artifacts displayed in Confucius Institute Library to Provost Enwemeka. For a demonstration of the function and usage of the Exploratorium Center provided by Hanban, Dr. Cheng wrote Provost Enwemeka’s name in beautiful Chinese calligraphy fashion on the interactive whiteboard monitor screen. Dr. Cheng signified Provost Enwemeka’s visit by presenting a small abacus as a gift for his new appointment.
Provost Enwemeka is a distinguished professor and Dean of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before he was named Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs by SDSU provost on July 1, 2014.
The 2014 Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for American High School Students was hosted in Beijing and Hunan, China from July 15th to August 1st 2014. This year, 17 students from the San Diego and Los Angeles area participated in the program. Project Manager Anne Chu, and Vicky Hsu, Office Assistant of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, led the students to China to join the 15-day program.
On July 18th (local time), students arrived in Beijing. Representatives of Confucius Institute Headquarter gave a warm welcome to all the students in the opening ceremony. They invited all the students to visit the Headquarter building. Next day, students headed to Hunan Province to start their journey in Hunan University. Hunan University arranged Chinese classes for the students according to their Chinese proficiency. They also provided various Chinese culture classes, including paper cutting, calligraphy, Tai-Chi, deepen students’ understanding of Chinese Culture.
While in Hunan, students visited the World Historic Heritage -- Han Tombs at Mawangdui. At the museum, students learned ancient Chinese manufacturing technology, as well as the Han Dynasty social classes system, religious beliefs and lifestyle. Students also visited the Orange Beach, the Yuelu Academy, and other famous attractions. Additionally, students were invited to visit families of local high school students. Afterwards, students participated in the evening gala which was organized by Hunan Chinese Bridge competition for foreign college students.
On July 29th, students left Hunan and returned to Beijing for the closing ceremony. Student representatives presented exhibition boards and stage performances. One of the performances combined Hunan folk dance and western Hiphop, using “La meizi” (“Spicy Girls”) as the theme music. In the last three days, students visited the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and Tian’an Men.
The Chinese Bridge Summer Camp enhanced the students’ Chinese communication skills, and provided them opportunities to experience Chinese Cultures. After the summer camp, students contended that they have more motivation of learning Chinese, and they hope to return China and communicate better with the local people. They also expect that they can participate in Chinese Bridge Summer Camp next year, and to explore different cultures from different parts of China.
On July 14th, 2014, organized by Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, the 2014 Chinese Summer Camp was held at SDSU Imperial Valley campus in Calexico, California. Ms. Miriam Castanon, Assistant Director for Partnership Programs at Imperial Valley Campus, addressed to the students in the opening ceremony with a warm welcome; she also expressed her gratitude to Hanban teachers, Lili Gong and Rong Zhao for their support. She further encouraged the students to take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn Chinese and to further understand Chinese culture.
The Chinese summer camp aims to entice the students in learning Chinese and Chinese culture. 25 students, ranging from 12 to 18 years old, participated at this year’s camp program. They showed great enthusiasm to learn Chinese and Chinese culture. In order to support this program in Calexico, Lili Gong and Rong Zhao traveled to Calexico from San Diego during their summer vacation to lead the Chinese summer program. They spent numerous hours in advance to design interesting methods for language learning and cultural activities, they hoped that students would further their interest in the language and culture.
In addition to learning the Chinese language, students also enjoyed activities such as Chinese Martial Arts, Chinese Painting, Chinese Paper Cutting, and Chinese Shuttlecock, among others. In order to retain the knowledge they had learned, students were asked to speak in Chinese in class to communicate with each other. Each course was equally educational as it was entertaining, students expressed their appreciation for the many activities they were able to enjoy during the Summer Camp.
The Chinese Summer Camp came to a close with a closing ceremony on July 25th, 2014. Dean David E. Pearson of SDSU Imperial Valley Campus, Ms. Miriam Castnon, classroom teachers, students and parents were all in attendance at the closing ceremony. Dr. David Pearson expressed many thanks for the continual support from Confucius Institute at SDSU. He encouraged students to take advantage of the momentum they had to continue learning Chinese and further understand Chinese Culture. Following Dr. Pearson’s remarks, the students put on a show, featuring what they had learned during the camp, to their teachers and parents. The program concluded with all students receiving a certificate of completion for their hard work and dedication during the program. The students expressed their gratitude to the Chinese teachers and relayed their interest for next year’s program.
From July 6th to 27th, 2014, commissioned by BELA Education Group, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University (SDSU) hosted the First American Language and Culture Summer Camp for fifteen students and two teachers from Xiangxian Junior High School in Guangzhou, China. The main focus of the American Language and Culture Camp (ALCC) was to improve the overall proficiency of English language and cultural competence for these students. The 2-week program was specifically designed to provide opportunities for students to listen, read, and speak in an optimal environment featuring authentic American English.
The opening ceremony was held on July 7th, 2014. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr Lily Cheng; President of BELA Education Group, Dr. Junbo Chen, and Chief Diversity Officer at San Diego State University, Aaron I. Bruce; welcomed the students to San Diego State University.
Many distinguished educators were invited to be speakers during the 2-week summer camp program; they included Dr. Lois Olson from Department of Marketing at SDSU; former San Diego Council member and California State Assemblyman, Tom Hom; Media Specialist, Loretta Lum; San Diego Chinese Historical Museum Curator of Chinese American History, Murray Lee; Department of Counseling and School Psychology professor at SDSU, Maria Senour; former Principal and Educator of Riley Elementary in San Diego, Ernie McCray; and Speech Pathologist, Dr. Teri Swanson. They each gave a lecture on different aspects of American language and culture; whether it was presented by storytelling, group activities, or power-point presentation, each lecture was to elaborate on the cultural differences between China and the United States, improving the English language proficiency, and to learn about San Diego History.
During classes, students were encouraged to ask questions, perform group activities, and hold group discussions in English. At the end of the two weeks’ summer camp classes, each student must present a speech in front of their classmates, sharing their learning outcome from the classes, their reading materials, and also from their interaction with others, and places they had visited during the program. Students all expressed their joy and gratitude for attending this summer program. Each student received a certificate of completion at the end of their speech; teachers also received a certificate of appreciation for their diligent contribution and dedication.
The students not only attended classes during these 2 weeks, they also had opportunities to experience the beautiful scenery in San Diego; San Diego Old Town, the Midway Museum, Coronado Island, Balboa Park, and La Jolla Beach, to name a few. Upon completion of the summer camp program, students and teachers traveled to Los Angeles for another week to visiting local attractions; Universal Studios, Disneyland, University of Southern California, and University of California, Los Angeles, left an unforgettable impression of American pop culture for them.
2014 American Language and Culture Summer Camp ended successfully with students having a better understanding of America, American culture, and of the English language.
On the morning of June 13, 2014, Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy hosted their annual Asian Pacific Heritage Field Day. As one of the exhibitors at the event, Confucius Institute (CI) at San Diego State University (SDSU) introduced traditional Chinese outdoor activities to the students and faculty at Barnard so they may experience the traditional Chinese culture in person.
This year, the Asian Pacific Heritage Field Day took place at the Barnard playground. Each class of students would rotate among the various booths that featured a diverse group of Asian cultures. Each class would have 15 minutes at each booth. At the station for Chinese culture, CI at SDSU project coordinators Denise He and Hang Xiao, and project intern, Sky Li showed students how to engage in some of the traditional Chinese outdoor activities; such as kite flying(fang fengzheng), fan dancing (wu shanzi), and rope jumping(tiao pijing).
Everyone who stopped at CI’s booth enjoyed the assortments of activities. The favorite choice was kite flying because of its long history and the skill required. CI staff members also shared the cultural background, the rules and flying techniques to students. After a short introduction, students could not wait to practice flying kites. Additionally, fan dancing and rope jumping were popular among all students as well. Everyone had so much fun that they did not want to leave CI’s booth at the end of each round.
On June 8, 2014, Confucius Institute (CI) at San Diego State University (SDSU) supported the Third Bohua Concert. The concert series was organized by Bohua Academy; local institutions co-sponsoring this event included CI at SDSU, Fukinese Association of San Diego, San Diego Chinese Folk Dance Ensemble, San Diego Chinese Culture and Arts Foundation, ‘We Chinese’ Magazine, Wuzhousihai Network, and Qualcomm Chinese Music Club. The two-day performances on June 7th and 8th, at the new music hall at Qualcomm Company, provided an impressive musical enjoyment for the audience. Bohua Academy, with more than 50 members currently, is the only Chinese music group in San Diego.
As one of the sponsors, CI at SDSU actively promoted the Bohua concert to the public and to the teachers, parents and students of all the Confucius Classroom schools. CI Project Manager, Anne Chu and other CI staff also attended the concert.
Each day’s programs contained a series of lively folk music shows, from the bustling orchestral music ‘Spring Festival Overture’, to the strings concerto from the famed Chinese opera, ‘Farewell My Concubine’, and the Chinese symphonic suite, ‘White-Haired Girl’, each one won roaring ovation from the audience. Other performances included an ensemble of Chinese and Western music instruments, solo instrumental performances, and solos by local sopranos. The outstanding performances received numerous applauses and compliments from the audience.
On June 7th, 2014, the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University held the Chinese Bridge Summer Camp Pre-Departure Orientation at the College-Rolando Library. The purpose of the orientation was to explain to the parents and students how the travel to and from China would unfold. Confucius Institute Project Manager, Anne Chu, gave a presentation to nearly 50 parents and participating students. She first introduced Hanban and Confucius Institute for the audience to have a better idea of their mission and goals. An explanation of the flight schedule was followed with the itinerary of the summer camp. She explained the process the students would take after they arrived in China, the school in which the students would live, what they should expect, dorm rules and the expected behavior from the students.
An introduction of Hunan province was given; the students would be staying in this province for most of their trip. The introduction informed the audience about the history of the province, traditional dishes, local tourist sites, weather, and the ethnic diversity. The introduction was followed by an explanation of the cultural differences between China and the U.S., such as huge crowds and the definition of personal space. This information prepared the students to keep an open mind. Important and useful information was provided to the audience in order for them to be prepared for the trip. They were given traveling and packing tips for their stay in China, such as of what to expect on the airport, how to keep their belongings safe, money tips, suggestions on the electronic devices and important documents.
The students were encouraged to research and learn more about China and Hunan Province, as well as to practice their Chinese and create an introduction in order for them to feel prepared and get the most out of their trip. At the end of the orientation parents and students were encouraged to ask questions. Once the orientation officially finished parents and students where served refreshments. Parents showed their appreciation and satisfaction of the information given at the orientation. Many parents and students stayed afterwards to get to know each other and share their ideas and excitement about the trip.
From May 31st to June 15th, 2014, the office manager of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Jonathan Lee, led a group of 20 San Diego State University students to explore the largest populated city in the world: Shanghai, China. During this two week program, students were able to experience Chinese culture firsthand while staying at the beautiful campus of East China Normal University.
San Diego State University professors Dr. Lilly Cheng and Dr. Lois Olson held classes with topics including cultural differences, Chinese lifestyle, Chinese history, China’s geography, and economic development. Along with attending class, students were able to experience Shanghai on multiple levels by visiting different locales including company visits to Pacific Millennium Holdings Corporation and Lian Heng Factory; visiting the Xin Hua Community Center; seeing Chinese medicine in action at an acupuncture clinic; visiting local historical sites such as Jing An Temple and Yu Garden Mansion; getting a view of the many skyscrapers along the Huangpu River; and taking a day trip to visit the most scenic city in China: Hangzhou.
This two week program allowed students to explore various parts of Shanghai and Hangzhou, which gave students only a small sample of one of the largest countries in the world. At the end of the program, students expressed their appreciation for this wonderful opportunity to experience a culture so different from their own. Students had a greater interest and desire to return to China to further explore China’s unique and expansive culture.
On May 31, 2014, Confucius Institute (CI) at San Diego State University (SDSU) participated in the International Cultural Fair at Riverview Elementary and International Academy School. This event was to promote awareness and tolerance of cultural diversity. To support the Mandarin program at the Confucius Classroom at Riverview Elementary School, CI Project Coordinators, Denise He and Yueying Zhan, Intern Tracy Sun set up a display full of Chinese artifacts. Many Chinese teachers sponsored by Hanban came to support the culture demonstration at CI booth. Activities throughout the day included various dancing performances, food tastings, and culture presentations. Students from each Chinese class presented extraordinary dancing and singing performances.
The exhibit CI staff members set up was to introduce the beauty of Chinese calligraphy and other Chinese culture aspects. CI staff members wrote down Chinese names for visitors in traditional calligraphy art form. The Tian Dee Panda Series teaching materials was a great hit as well, attracting many event attendees. CI staff also gave out free panda hats, it was so popular among children that the supply ran out soon after the event started.
The 2014 International Cultural Fair at Riverview Elementary School was a great success; it attracted many students and parents. The theme focusing on the diversity of cultures from different countries provided a perfect opportunity for CI to promote Chinese language and culture.
On May 27, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended an Exchange Partner luncheon reception at San Diego State University to welcome scholars in international exchange programs from many countries under partnership with SDSU. Attendants included colleagues from China, Japan, Korea, England, Chile and many others.
On May 23, 2014, Barnard PTA hosted its 2nd annual ‘Wine & Watch’ fundraising event at the Office of Pacific Arts Movement at Liberty Station. The featured film was a wonderful documentary from China, "Vote for Me". Managing Director of Confucius Institute (CI) at San Diego State University (SDSU), Dr. Lilly Cheng, and many CI staff members joined and supported this great event.
One of Barnard parents, a head chef at Culinary Institute, prepared the tasty foods served in the evening. The one-hour documentary “Vote for Me” is about an interesting experiment on democracy at a third-grade class in China. After the movie, led by Dr. Lilly Cheng and Lee Ann Kim, Founder of Pacific Arts Movement, the audience participated in an engaging conversation regarding the film; many viewers partook in an informative discussion about cultural differences , and how the differences influenced education and parenting in the U.S. and China.
On May 22, 2014, a delegation group from Yancheng, Jiangsu Province visited Confucius Institute (CI) at San Diego State University (SDSU). The team was led by Wanqiu Jiang, Vice Chairperson of National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Yancheng Municipal Committee. Other delegates were Tisong Zhang, Principal of Yancheng Higher Normal School, and Xiaoqin Zhou, Deputy Director of Yancheng Municipal Foreign Affairs Office. Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, with all CI staff members, warmly welcomed the delegates from Yancheng.
The visitors first viewed an introduction video of CI at SDSU, which gave the delegates a better understanding of CI’s missions and operations. Principal Zhang then gave an introduction of Yancheng Higher Normal School. As the largest normal school in Jiangsu Province with 6500 students enrolled, Yancheng Higher Normal School has the most comprehensive range of disciplines covering 25 categories, including teacher training, arts and language studies etc.. Principal Zhang further stressed that Yancheng Higher Normal School focused on cultural and scholastic exchanges. Principal Zhang invited Dr. Lilly Cheng to be a visiting scholar at Yancheng Higher Normal School.
Yancheng City and San Diego City have been sister cities for more than 13 years. At the meeting, delegates expressed their strong interest in collaboration between Yancheng Higher Normal School and CI at SDSU. As the representative of each school, Dr. Cheng and Principal Zhang signed a Letter of Intent for collaboration and exchange to strengthen a joint project on international education. The signing ceremony ended with both parties exchanging gifts. Group photos were taken to commemorate this special occation.
On May 17, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University and President of the Board of San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the a lecture, featuring Qu Yuan and the Dragon Boat Festival, at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
This popular festival is celebrated each May by people from different regions in China; the main festivities are characterized by the dragon-shaped boat race and zongzi, a traditional food made of sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves. According to the folk story, after learning about the suicidal act by the famed poet, Qu Yuan, Chinese peasants tossed the zongzi in the river as an offering to the river dragon, while they searched for his body.
The Dragon Boat Festival incorporates the popular belief about the unlucky fifth day of the fifth month. The presentation gave tribute to the art of elite Confucian Scholar.
Confucius Institute at SDSU hosted the Preliminary Contest of 2014 “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Language Proficiency Competition
On May 16th, 2014, sponsored by the Chinese General Consulate Office in Los Angeles, and hosted by the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, the Preliminary Contest of Chinese Bridge Chinese Language Proficiency Competition for U.S. Southwest region was held successfully at Mission Bay High School Auditorium. A total 52 students from southern California and New Mexico participated in this competition. Education Counselor, Dr. Dong Yuan, and Education Counsel, Dr. Weiheng Chen, from the Chinese General Consulate Office in Los Angeles came to support this program; they were also invited to be the judges of the competition. Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, served as the emcee of the program.
“Chinese Bridge” Chinese Language Proficiency Competition aims to encourage non-native learners to follow their passion and interest in learning Mandarin, and to improve their Chinese Language proficiency, and knowledge of Chinese culture. Modeled after the Final Competition held annually in China, this preliminary contest consisted of three components, oral speech, quiz and questionnaire of Chinese culture and history, and talent performance. These measures were designed to gauge each student’s accuracy in pronunciation and intonation, the expression of language proficiency, and the knowledge of China and Chinese culture and history.
The topic of speech for K-6th grade students was “My favorite season”, where as “My Chinese learning” and “An unforgettable Chinese cultural experience” was set for grade 7th-12th students. Based on the topic, most students gave their best performance; the judges often were truly impressed by the speech content, the intonation and the emotional expression from many contestants. During the talent shows, each student presented their special talent, which included musical instrument solo, dancing, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese Kungfu, and poem recitation, etc.
After a series of fierce competition, the top 6 winners were chosen for K-6th, they were all students from Confucius Classroom at Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy and Confucius Classroom at Riverview International Academy Elementary School, which demonstrated the solid foundation these schools had set in each of their Mandarin immersion program. The top three winners for 7-12th Grade Group A and B came from a variety of schools locally and from Los Angeles and New Mexico.
At the award ceremony, Education Counselor, Dr. Dong Yuan, gave his high praise to all of the participants. He further expressed his appreciation for the hard work from the students, teachers and parents. Dr. Yuan also voiced his gratitude for the coordination work from CI staff members and volunteers, which contributed to the great success of this year’s program.
Other judges for the competition included Professor Aubrey Kuan of Mira Costa College, and Co-Director of CI/SDSU, Professor Wei Lu. The laborious preparation work from the entire crew of CI/SDSU staff members, interns and numerous volunteers, spanning more than 2 month’s time, contributed to the successful outcome of this competition. From setting the rules and regulations of the contest, to the designs of the quiz and questionnaire, coordination and services, and promotion, no details were left out by the team of CI.
The overall magnitude of the 2014 preliminary contest of the Chinese Bridge Chinese Language Proficiency Competition for U.S. Southwest region, from the impact, coverage, average level of proficiency and attendance, far surpassed the events from previous years. This is a clear indication that the Mandarin education has taken roots in promoting Chinese language and culture in the southwest region of the United States.
On May 14, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng attended a celebration ceremony for the Asian Pacific American Elder and Veteran Communities in San Diego as part of the Asian Pacific Islander Heritage month.
On behalf of CI/SDSU, Dr. Cheng received a special commendation from the Mayoral office of San Diego for CI’s dedicated service to the senior community of San Diego. The award was presented by U.S. Admiral Brian Losey. Dr. Cheng also received a certificate of recognition from the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association for CI’s dedication on promoting culture awareness and education in the community in San Diego.
Sons and Daughters of Guam Club, Inc. and Island Rain presented a performance for the event. Other organizations recognized were Chinese American Veterans, Japanese American Veterans, Pacific Islander Veterans and many other community organizations.
On May 10th, 2014, the 5th Annual Asian Cultural Festival was held at Convoy Street in San Diego. Many Asian ethnic groups, including China, Philippines, South Korea, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand, and thousands of people interested in Asian culture enthusiastically participated in this event.
Confucius Institute at San Diego State University set up a booth filled with Chinese cultural artifacts, to promote Chinese culture. CI/SDSU also produced a spectacular Chinese cultural show, featuring the “Silk Road of China”, showcasing a special aspect of the Chinese culture to the audience. 20 female models, including CI staff members, and Hanban teachers presented various outfits in ethnic and fusion styles, such as the Qi Pao and Chinese traditional wardrobe from different dynasties. The show attracted a large crowd of audience; many of them came over to take photos with these beautiful models. Other CI staff members introduced Chinese calligraphy to the onlookers; the crowd exclaimed their amazement when they were given a piece of art work with their Chinese name from CI staff; visitors waited patiently in line to get their Chinese name.
As usual, there were many fantastic shows of various Asian culture themes on stage, including folk music, folk dancing, ethnic instrumental performances, such as Hawaiian Hula and Korean drum playing. The whole day event was a huge success.
Hanban Supervision Group Visit Confucius Institute at SDSU for the Preparation of “Model Confucius Institute” Establishment
On the afternoon of May 9th, 2014, led by Deputy Director-General of Hanban and Deputy Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters, Mr. Yongli Wang and Ms. Wei Jing, the group of six officers from Hanban visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. They came to inspect the preparation and establishment work of “Model Confucius Institute” at San Diego State University.
Provost of San Diego State University, Ms. Nancy Marlin, Dean of Arts and Letters and Executive Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Paul Wong, and Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, warmly greeted these distinguished guests. On behalf of SDSU, Provost Marlin welcomed these visitors for their first visit to San Diego; she expressed her gratitude for the generous support and sponsorship from Hanban for SDSU to establish the first “Model Confucius Institute” in the United States. She presented a brief presentation on the progress of “Model Confucius Institute” planning. Architect Joseph Wang gave a detailed narration of the design for each facility, including the Six Arts Exhibition Hall, conference rooms, classrooms, offices, and so on. Provost Marlin pledged to make Confucius Institute at SDSU the best “Model Confucius Institute” in the United States.
Deputy Director Wang commended CI at SDSU for the remarkable accomplishments; he also gave high remarks for the constructive notion of applying Six Arts Ideology of Confucius as the main theme of “Model Confucius Institute”. Deputy Director, Ms. Wei Jing inquired and gave her recommendations for the target users and scope of operations for the Model Confucius Institute. At the end of the conference, both sides reached a consensus regarding the structure of “Model Confucius Institute”. The suggestions and guidelines from Hanban delegates were well noted by CI at SDSU for the structure and foundation of “Model Confucius Institute”.
Hanban delegation group visited the office, classrooms, and other facilities of CI/SDSU after the meeting. They also visited the lecture auditorium donated by local Chinese; the new Classroom Halls on SDSU campus which provides conference rooms and classrooms, the designated site for the “Six Arts” Exhibition Hall, and the multimedia learning facilities of Language Acquisition Resource Center at SDSU. The visitors expressed the urgency for SDSU to complete these architectural plans; they envisioned that SDSU might host the “Annual Conference of Confucius institute in the United States” in the near future when SDSU may showcase these facilities of “Model Confucius Institute” to all the attendees at the Annual Conference.
Other members in the group included Deputy Director of Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban in American and Oceania Countries and Regions, Ms. Shifang Ren; Program Coordinators, Mr. Yong Zhang and Jiefang Miao. Other attendants from SDSU were Professor Shanpu Shen; Professor Mei Zhong; and Co-Director of CI at SDSU, Professor Wei Lu. Deputy Director Wang and Provost Marlin exchanged gifts and group photos at a welcome banquet hosted by Provost Marlin.
On May 8th – 9th, 2014, Confucius Institution at San Diego State University attended the 7th Annual National Chinese Language Conference, co-organized by Asia Society and College Board. This Conference was co-hosted by Confucius Institution Headquarters/Hanban and other organizations.
At the meeting held in the afternoon of May 8th, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, and Co-Director, Professor Wei Lu, were present at the speeches addressed by former Prime Minister of Australia , Mr. Kevin Rudd; Dean of Humanities at the University of California, Los Angeles; Mr. David Schaburg; Chief Executive and Director- General of Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban, Madame Xu Ling; Dean of the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California, Mr. Clayton Dube . All the attendees enjoyed a dancing and singing show in English performed by the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts’.
On May 9th, students from 2 Confucius Classroom schools affiliated under CI/SDSU, Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy and Riverview Elementary and International Academy respectively, gave wonderful performances which won roaring standing ovations from the conference delegates. The first program was “Speaking Mandarin”, performed by the third-graders from Barnard. The second was “The Twelve Chinese Zodiac Animals”, by the 4th grade students from Barnard. The students from Riverview Elementary and International Academy performed two songs, “Tian Di Magic Panda” and “Chinese National Treasure” in English, Mandarin and Spanish. The delegates were impressed by the precise pronunciation, angelic voices and the authentic performances from these lovely children. Their show highlighted the remarkable achievements and unique features at the Confucius Classroom sites affiliated under CI/SDSU.
During the conference, Confucius Institution at San Diego State University also participated at Chinese language teaching resources exhibition of Confucius Institution Headquarters (Hanban). The main feature was the “Tian Di Magic Panda book series”, with Dr. Lilly Cheng as the editor-in-chief. “Tian Di Magic Panda book series” contains many Chinese textbooks and supplementary teaching materials. President of San Diego State University, Dr. Elliot Hirshman, and Dean of College of Arts and Letters, Dr. Paul Wong, also visited the exhibit with great interest.
On May 8th, 2014，Madame Xu Lin, General Director of Confucius Institute Headquarters/ Hanban, met with President Elliot Hirshman of San Diego State University at Westin Hotel in Los Angeles, California. President Hirshman expressed his deep appreciation of Hanban for its support for Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. He specifically conveyed his gratitude to Madame Xu for funding the “Model Confucius Institute” project at SDSU. President Hirshman later gave a brief presentation on the progress of “Model Confucius Institute”.
At the beginning of the meeting, Madame Xu commended CI/SDSU for its achievements in developing Chinese education and promoting Chinese culture in recent years. She praised highly of the accomplishments of “Mandarin immersion program” in Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy and Riverview Elementary & International Academy; both schools are Confucius Classroom schools under the guidance of CI/SDSU. She also pointed out that CI/SDSU was one of the best Confucius Institutes in the United States. Madame Xu gave many insightful advices for a comprehensive planning of “Model Confucius Institute”. She affirmed the idea of integrating the ‘six arts’ in planning, and suggested to implement the promotion of the six arts, and to integrate it into other areas in Chinese culture; and to introduce Chinese culture more effectively to American people. Moreover, Madame Xu suggested a diverse design of “Model Confucius Institute”, and provide more professional teacher trainings.
Deputy General Director of Confucius Institute Headquarters/ Hanban, Ms. Jing Wei; Deputy Director of Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban in America and Oceanian Countries and Regions, Ms. Ren Shifang; Program Coordinator of Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban in American and Oceanian Countries and Regions, Mr. Zhang Yong; Dean of College of Arts and Letters and Director of International Partnerships, Dr. Paul Wong; Managing Director of Confucius Institute at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng; and Co-Director of CI/SDSU, Professor Wei Lu; participated in a joint meeting where Dr. Paul Wong and Dr. Lilly Cheng shared their ideas of planning “Model Confucius Institution”. At the end of the meeting, President Elliot Hirshman and Madame Xu Lin exchanged gifts.
On May 6, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended The Asian-Pacific heritage month celebration held at the San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting. A large number of Asian-Pacific Americans joined County Supervisors, Dave Roberts and Ron Roberts, to receive the Proclamation.
Many Asian institutions and organizations in San Diego worked toward the promotion of cultural understanding of Asian Pacific Americans, including Asian Business Association (ABA), Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) and Confucius institute at San Diego State.
On May 5, 2014, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University received two guests, Mr. Victor S. Chou and Mrs. May D.Chou, who brought with them pieces of calligraphy and other documents written by the 72nd generation of descendants of Confucius. These items were bequeathed to Mrs. Chou by the 73rd generation descendant of Confucius, Lucy Kong of São Paulo, Brazil. After carefully examining the content of the documents, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, offered custodial safe keeping of these items. She promised the visitors that a file would be established to archive the documents; CI would also translate them into English and Spanish.
Lucy Kong's family moved from China to Brazil more than half a century ago. There are several generations of the Kong family living in São Paulo, Brazil. Most of these documents were handwritten by the 72nd generation of descendant of Confucius.
On April 14, 2014, the 13th Annual Dual Language Conference was hosted by the Department of English Learners and Support Services at San Diego County Office of Education Conference Center. Office Manager of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Jonathan Lee, presented the ‘Tian Dee Panda Series’ during conference schedule.
These items on display included the large Panda books for teaching Chinese in the classrooms, as well as an assortment of supplementary materials for classroom activities, such as chopsticks, clapboards, pencils, etc. These materials gave a clear representation of progress of the curriculum being developed for Tian Di Panda.
The Dual Language Institute was a special opportunity for dual language educators to participate in a professional development specifically designed to meet their needs; whether they were gathering information on to implement dual language program, or improving their already established program.
The institute was attended by many educators and school administrators from all over Southern California; all the attendees gave high praise of this program.
On Apr. 11th, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the 12th annual Cesar E. Chavez Commemorative Luncheon held at SDSU. Cesar E. Chavez dedicated his life to helping others. As a child, his parents helped him realize the importance of education. Mr. Chavez served in the U.S. Navy and worked for many community service organizations in California. With his background as a farm worker, he understood how difficult it was for farm workers to gain respect and dignity from others. For that reason, he spent the rest of his life working to aid people improve their working conditions without violence.
The Cesar E. Chavez Commemorative Luncheon, held at SDSU, represented the core values of Cesar Chavez which included serving others, helping those in needs, and the promotion of fair work environments regardless of nationality. After the opening speeches from both the President of Associated Students, Josh Morse, and President of San Diego State University, Elliot Hirshman, the keynote speaker Dr. Armando Arias addressed some key points.
Four students received Cesar E. Chavez scholarship with honors for their brilliant academic records and professional accomplishments. A Cesar E. Chavez lifetime service Award also was presented at this luncheon. This Commemorative Luncheon not only had enticing speeches and presentations, but also highly entertaining performances. Dr. Patricia Lozada-Santone finished with closing remarks while thanking the center for intercultural relations and the tables filled by many SDSU departments, offices, and associations who supported the event.
On April 3, 2014, San Diego Business Journal hosted the 2014 Family-Owned Business Awards at Paradise Point Resort. Mr. David Du, a strong supporter of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, and CEO of DDH Enterprise, Inc, attended the ceremony as one of the seventy finalists. At the end of the ceremony, DDH Enterprise, Inc. was awarded as the third place winner in the large businesses category. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the ceremony to congratulate Mr. Du for receiving the honorable award.
Mr. Du was born in Vietnam with Chinese heritage from Fujian Province, China. His family fled from Vietnam as refugees and finally settled down in San Diego the same year David graduated from high school. As a second generation Chinese, Mr. Du believes in diligence and self-reliance, both are traditional Chinese virtues. Building from the ground up, David and his brother established their family business, DDH Enterprise, Inc, a manufacturing company focusing in the field of cables and wire harness. After years of hard work, Mr. Du has propelled his company into one of the largest and strongest Chinese enterprises in San Diego.
On April 2nd to 4th, the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) conference was held at Anaheim Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles County, California. Confucius Institute at San Diego State University attended the conference to promote the development of s Chinese language curriculum with new teaching materials - Tian Dee Panda. As the growth of Chinese Programs and multilingualism in schools in the Los Angeles area increases, many teachers attending the conference showed deep interests in the Tian Dee Panda teaching materials. Several teachers and school administrators showed interest in starting Chinese Programs in their schools and requested for Chinese teaching resources.
CI at SDSU Project Coordinators, Yueying Zhan and Hang Xiao, provided several information on the development of Chinese curriculum and programs in San Diego area, explained the Confucius Institute’s objectives, and demonstrated how these teaching materials can be used in the classroom. Some examples shown at the conference were supplementary activities including a fishing game, flash cards, training chopsticks, clapping bamboo sticks, Tian Dee Panda stamps and Chinese character stickers. Many CABE participants expressed great interest in purchasing the teaching materials package; they requested more updated information in the future.
On March 30, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute (CI) at San Diego State University (SDSU), Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended “Unity in Diversity: Dance Beats of the World” at the Poway Performing Arts Center, hosted by the San Diego Indian American Society (SDIAS). Mr. Shri N Parthasarathi, Consul General of India at San Francisco, also attended the event. Professor M. C. Madhavan, founder and Conducting Director of SDIAS, gave the opening speech on “Unity in Diversity”. By attending this event, CI at SDSU enhanced cultural exchange and created future cooperation opportunities through arts and performances with SDIAS.
This event showcased cultural diversities to audiences, which corresponded with CI’s mission of promoting diverse cultures to communities in the greater San Diego area. Dr. Lilly Cheng spoke highly of the performances and the invaluable influences that SDIAS brings to San Diego. SDIAS, a non-profit organization, dedicates itself to studying U.S.-India relations, and to enhancing cultural exchanges. The performances included a fusion style of dances, incorporating Indian, Asian, and European aspects, reemphasizing the main theme of “unity in diversity”. Programs in the evening’s show included Indian folk dance, Bollywood dance, a Japanese Taiko drum act, etc.
Moreover, scholarship funds for high school seniors in San Diego were raised during this event, a compelling indication that SDIAS proves to be a supporting resource with a tangible return for the local community. Sharing mutual goals, CI at SDSU and SDIAS look forward to working together in promoting unity and diversity to local communities.
On March 17, 2014, Managing Director of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, served as the Scholarship Committee Chair for the Kyoto Prize scholarship Program. More than 300 guests were in attendance for the announcement of the winners of 2014.
Kyoto Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to graduating high school students from San Diego County who will be attending an accredited four-year university in the United States. These scholarships were presented in the categories of advanced technology, basic sciences, arts, and philosophy. Nine students in total received the Kyoto Prize Scholarships this year; four students were nominated under basic sciences, three students under advanced technology, and the remaining two students were nominated under arts and philosophy category.
These winners were inspired by the laureates, who attributed to a better society through the progressions of their life-long work. The Kyoto Symposium celebrated each of the three Kyoto Laureates announced in November 10, 2013 in Kyoto, Japan. They are Dr. Robert Heath Dennard for “Invention of Dynamic Random Access Memory and Proposal of guidelines for FET Miniaturization” under the area of Advanced Technology; Dr. Masatoshi Nei received the award of Basic Sciences for “Research on the Evolution of Biological Populations Using Quantitative Analyses of Genetic Variation and Evolutionary Time”; and lastly, Mr. Cecil Taylor received the award of Arts and Philosophy for his “Innovative Jazz Musician Who Has Fully Explored the Possibilities of Piano Improvisation”.
The opening ceremony & gala for the Kyoto Prize celebrated the three laureates for their outstanding lifetime achievements. This year, the 2014 Kyoto Prize Symposium also presented these three Laureate presentations at San Diego State University, University of California San Diego, and University of San Diego from March 18th to March 19th.
On Friday, March 14, 2014, Dr. Samuel Shen, Professor of Department of Mathematics and Statistics at San Diego State University(SDSU), gave a lecture, titled “Global warming: How do we know it’s real?”, for the 24th Albert W. Johnson Research Lecture Series at Du Nam Xuong Auditorium at Arts & Letters Building. As a strong supporter of Confucius Institute (CI) at SDSU, Dr. Shen supported the establishment of the Summer School at Xiamen University, partner school of CI/SDSU, in Global Climate Change and Emerging Infection Disease. Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was in attendance to show support for Dr. Shen. Dr. Shen recently was awarded Professor of the Year at SDSU.
There were more than a hundred attendees, including SDSU faculty, students, Chinese-American professors, and other professionals. At the lecture, Dr. Shen used Powerpoint and animations to present early indications, the process, and the influences of global warming. He also pointed that glacial ablation, rise of sea level, rise of the ocean temperature, and the rise of humidity was the phenomena behind global warming. Additionally, his lecture stressed that the average temperature of the earth continued to rise, due to the accumulating greenhouse gas--CO2 coming from human derived pollutants. Dr. Shen’s presentation indicated that the earth is now in a “fever” like state.
The two sponsors of the University Research Lecture Series, The University Research Council and the Office of Graduate and Research Affairs selected Dr. Shen to be the presenter of the 24th Albert W. Johnson Research Lecture. Dr. Shen, a distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Statistics joined SDSU as a department chair in 2006. His main research focuses on global warming and climate change. At the end of the lecture, Stephen Welter, Vice President of SDSU, awarded Dr. Shen with the honor of “Professor of The Year”.
On March 14, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng and Project Manager, Anne Chu attended a luncheon with the California Distinguished School Site Visitation team to share the experience of supporting Barnard Pacific Language Academy.
The day’s discussions focused on the teaching of Mandarin and the program preparation for the National Chinese Language Conference (NCLC).
From March 13 to March 16, 2014, the 2014 California Language Teachers’ Association Annual Conference was held at the San Diego Town and Country Hotel. There were hundreds of lectures and workshops offered during the Conference. The main theme of the Conference,” Technology: Bridge to Common Core”, was to provide insightful information to all the world language teachers the recent transition to Common Core Standards in California. Many teachers from all corners of California attended this conference to learn of the new rules and policy of the Common Core. They hoped to apply their newly learned knowledge to better their language education.
Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, and Outreach Director of LARC at SDSU, Dr. Norman Leonard, co-presented a lecture on the ‘Tian Dee Panda series’. They showcased the trilingual series of Tian Dee Panda instructional materials, Chinese, English, and Spanish, for K-1st grade, Pre-literate, and early-stage children. They also mentioned that these materials would be adapted in other less commonly taught languages in California, such as Arabic, Dari, Pashtu, and Persian. Many teachers were very impressed by these instructional materials. They hoped that different versions in other languages would be developed and published sooner to benefit more children.
On Monday, March 03, 2014, the Inaugural Gala for Kevin Faulconer, the 36th Mayor of San Diego, was held at the Broadway Port Pavilion. As one of the groups representing the Asian community, the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University was invited to join in at the celebration.
More than 1000 guests crowded into the Broadway Port Pavilion at 5:30 PM, when the front gate opened. Dim sum foods were served, along with many other ethnic cuisines, as part of the multicultural essence of San Diego. Staff members of CI/SDSU graciously helped the guests with the delicious Chinese hors d'oeuvres while explaining the Chinese culture infused in each food item.
In support of the Classics 4 Kids program, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University brought its own “Silk Road of China” program to Classics 4 Kids 2014 Special Presentation, “The Silk Road”. This program was shown to more than 5,000 students in San Diego during 5 shows on February 20, 21, and 23.
Classics 4 Kids is dedicated to educating children and the diverse communities in San Diego through music and arts. This program aims to provide students the opportunities to engage in creative and cultural experiences which help shape their future.
“The Silk Road of China” program CI/SDSU provided featured many aspects in Chinese culture and history that ‘silk’ had impacted. Led by the Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, 4 staff members from CI, adorned in exquisite silk outfits, were on stage to showcase many facets of Chinese culture. Each model also held in her hands a special artifact, such as an abacus, a Chinese Peking Opera face mask, a music bowl and a fan make of silk. Through the detailed narratives by Dr. Cheng, the audience was able to learn not only of the discovery of silk, how silk merchandise was brought over to Europe through the Silk Road route, and the significance of each artifact in the Chinese culture. The students’ eyes widened up as they listened to the fascinating stories; often the children burst out, ‘Wow!’ as they could hardly contain their excitement.
Other shows in the program included musicians from Italy, Turkey, Persia, India and Japan. They each introduced the music numbers played on ethnic music instruments from the region.
The Grand Finale of the program was the Lion Dance show performed by the White Dragon Martial Arts Dance Team.
On February 13, 2014, Dr. Li An, Professor of Geography at San Diego State University (SDSU), welcomed the two visiting scholars from Guizhou Fan Jing Shan National Nature Reserve (FNNR) in China. Dr. Li An is the lead research scholar of the MMBF Project--“Documenting Impacts of Illegal Mining on the Guizhou Golden Monkey, Rhinopithecus brelichi, in FNNR”. Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of Confucius Institute (CI) at SDSU, also attended the meeting. At the meeting, they discussed the urgency at preserving the endangered Guizhou golden monkeys. In addition, Dr. Lilly Cheng and Dr. Li An scheduled a visit to the FNNR this summer, to further support conservation projects of Guizhou golden monkeys and other related activities.
Dr. Lilly Cheng has been a strong supporter of the MMBF Project, and for the conservation work from FNNR for the Guizhou golden monkeys. This meeting was to strengthen the collaboration between CI and FNNR in a joint project of conservation for natural habitat for endangered specis. Moreover, CI-FNNR cooperation is significant in promoting the traditional Chinese philosophy--“unity of human and nature”. Department of Geography at SDSU, San Diego Zoo, and FNNR have long term collaborative relationships in conservation of golden monkeys and other environmental science research projects.
The Guizhou golden monkeys (黔金丝猴), known as the gray golden hair monkeys (灰金丝猴), are covered in gray hair with a white patch between its two shoulders. Due to habitat loss, the Guizhou golden monkeys is one of the world's most endangered species, also known as “world’s only child”. The range of Guizhou golden monkeys’ natural habitat is limited to Mount Fanjing National Nature Reserve in the Wuling Mountains in Guizhou province, China. According to the latest data, FNNR has approximately 750 Guizhou golden monkeys on record from about 20 family groups. China has listed the Guizhou golden monkeys into its First Class National Protected Animals category.
On February 13, 2014, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University hosted the “2014 Huain Chinese New Year Music Concert” at the Pacific Beach Middle School auditorium. The musicians are well-known artists in China and golden award-winners from the Huain Cup International Chinese Instrument Competition hosted in San Jose, California. The group was led by Mr. Xinan Han, Secretary of the Chinese Musicians’ Association. The concert brought a feast for the audience’s eyes and ears from the school and the community.
Special guests to attend this attend were San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, Dr. Chen Junbo, chief representative of the North American Office of Hanban, and Mr. David Du, San Diego Chinese Community leader who presented a proclamation to Mr. Han. Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng narrated the entire program to the audience.
The first show was the song “The great waves of Amur River”, presented by the Golden Sail Choir from Middle School attached to Beijing Northern Jiaotong University. The choir was followed by the golden award-winner in the Huain Cup Competition, Li Tong, who exhibited the Chinese lute, Pipa, by playing “The Emperor Discards His Armor”. Li Jing played the Chinese violin, erhu, and played the song “Thoughts on the Subjects of Shanxi Opera”. The audience was immersed in the performance, listening to the special traditional Chinese instruments and enjoyed the melody of the songs. The famous yangqin player, Li Lingling played the song “Fleeing by Night” through a variety of dulcimer playing techniques, reproducing a scene of spectacular, soul-stirring hymn “Water Margin Heroes”. Cui Junzhi, foremost Konghou virtuoso and originator of performing arts on modern Konghou, played the song “the impression of the silk” while showing the exquisite and melodious tones, as if to lead the audience to find the rhyme in China’s ancient Silk Road. Her superb technique with the interpretation of the sounds of nature, won the audience several rounds of applause.
Yi, Jiayi, professor of Sichuan Conservatory of Music, played the song “Whipping on a horse busy transporting grain” which presented the audience a musical tone of the harvest season in modern rural areas of China. The golden award-winner Tian Wei and Tian Yuan provided a duet of ceremonial hall drums which presented a vivid scenery of “Bull fighting Tiger”. Prof. Wang Yidong, President of the Chinese Musicians Association Percussion Society, Deputy Director of Chinese Instrument Department of China Conservatory of Music, followed the drum performance with another, playing the melody of “flying on the drum”. The grand finale program was the ensemble of Chinese instruments called “Joyful” presented by all the musicians, showing the joy of a new year. The beautiful musical performances played by the musicians earned several rounds of applause.
The Huain Music Concert was coordinated by Hanban and organized by CI at SDSU. Pacific Beach Middle School provided the site and logistics. The Huain Cup International Chinese Instrument Competition has a wide influence around the world. These excellent musicians and golden award-winners gave the students and teachers in PBMS a great opportunity to experience authentic high class performances. Local media agencies including World Journal and We Chinese in America Weekend had full coverage of the program.
On February 8-9, 2014, the 32nd San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Culture Fair, organized by theSan Diego Chinese Center (SDCC), was held in Gaslamp Quarter of downtown of San Diego. Both the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University and the Confucius Classroom at Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy attended this 2 days cultural fair.
In addition to actively engaging in the planning of the Fair, Managing Director of the Confucius Institute at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, also acted as the emcee of the shows. Confucius Institute staff members and volunteers set up a booth displaying different Chinese artifacts and hosted Chinese calligraphy demonstrations and Chinese culture presentations. CI staff would write Chinese names for fair patrons and explained the traditions and customs of the names with each visitor that stopped by CI booth. In addition to addressing inquiries of Mandarin teaching and local Chinese teacher training programs, the staff excitedly shared the mission, goal and progress of CI/SDSU with these visitors. The performances of Chinese songs and dances by Barnard’s students won rounds of applause and compliments from the audience.
Over 30,000 residents and tourists flocked to the festival for the celebration and a taste of Chinese cuisine. Thousands of students, parents, and visitors stopped by CI/SDSU booth. They were thrilled with the demonstrations and the knowledge of Chinese culture.
The San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Culture Fair was a great success to promote Chinese language and culture. Many local media publicized diverse reports of the 2-day celebration.
On February 3, 2014, Managing Director of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended a Chinese New Year celebration hosted by the San Diego Yantai Sister City at Pearl Restaurant in San Diego. Over two hundred guests attended the celebration.
The evening’s entertainments included lion dances and a video of a performance by the San Diego Symphony. The organization committee expressed their gratitude for the support of the local Chinese communities.
On the mornings of January 30th and 31st, 2014, Central Elementary School in Banning, California held a grand performance to celebrate Chinese New Year, the biggest and most festive holiday in Chinese culture. The auditorium in the school was adorned with colorful lights and the stage was decorated with red ribbons symbolizing good luck. Almost all of the teachers, students and parents arrived for the festivities dressed in red to show their respect for the traditions of Chinese New Year. The performance was designed and directed by Chinese teacher Xiuqing Wang.
The performance began as students performed three Chinese songs, “Happy New Year”, “Thank You” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It”. These songs were well received with the audience, who provided the student performers with a warm round of applause. Secondly, children in the kindergarten class wore hand-made hats and told the Chinese tale about a smart rabbit called “Cute Little Rabbit” with songs. Most impressive from the days performances was the “Tai Ji Fan dance” performed by the children. With lively rhythm, every posture and movement the students made demonstrated the concept of Chinese Wu Shu. The program concluded with a Chinese fashion show where both teachers and students took the stage to show the audience the beauty of Chinese clothing. When the children and teachers were dressed in clothing with Chinese characteristics, gracing the stage to classical Chinese music, was a beautiful display of Chinese cheongsam, the audience was once again captivated by the rich Chinese culture; the party was a great success.
These performances were highly praised and performed four times over the two days. The influence of the Chinese program has grown within the local community. For those that attended, the students interest towards Chinese culture has become more profound, and the blend of Chinese and American culture has been enhanced to offer greater understanding between people of both countries. The celebration was a big success, in which it also received local media attention and was reported on by the local Newspaper. Every year more than 1.3 billion Chinese people celebrate the start of a new year. Now, on the other side of the world on a warm spring day in January, this festivity of this traditional Chinese holiday can also be seen.
On the morning of January 29, 2014, Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy hosted its 2014 Chinese New Year Celebration. Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng; Project Manager, Anne Chu; and Project Coordinators, Jonathan Lee and Crystal Qian of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University attended the event in support of the celebration welcoming the Year of the Horse.
Students from each class excitedly performed Chinese songs and dances to show off their Mandarin proficiency to the audience who cheered in delight at each presentation. The students also demonstrated their understanding of Chinese culture in the skits and further demonstrated their athletic abilities with a Chinese essence, such as the performance of the 12 Chinese Zodiac; jian zi, Chinese yo yo and silk ribbon dance. The program ended with a special Lion Dance and martial arts performance by Three Treasures cultural arts society.
On January 26, 2014 Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the celebration of the publishing of "A Legacy Magnified: A Generation Of Chinese Americans in Southern California 1980s to 2010s” held at the Chinese Bilingual School in San Diego.
Dr. Lilly Cheng spoke about the impact on the Chinese American society brought forth from this publication. The editor, May Chen, gave her speech as the concluding remarks at the event of the celebration. Several of the individuals who contributed to this publication who attended this celebration also shared their experience in the editing with the audience.
On the evening of January 25, 2014, San Diego Chinese Center, San Diego Chinese School and House of China co-hosted its annual Chinese New Year banquet at Ly’s Garden Restaurant. More than 500 community leaders and distinguished guests were present. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, also attended this event in support of the Chinese community in San Diego.
The highlight of the evening’s entertainments was a culture show, “Silk Road of China”, produced by Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. Dr. Lilly Cheng gave an elaborate presentation in the beginning. She detailed the origin of Silk Road, its impact in Chinese history and the development of silk products to give the audience an in-depth knowledge on how the silk products had influenced many aspects of the Asian and Western culture. CI staff members and volunteers ascended to the stage in beautiful and elegant Chinese outfits. These models were holding various Chinese New Year auspicious items in their hands to deliver their New Year greetings to the audience.
CI/SDSU also displayed posters depicting 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals, The Progress of Silk Production, and the Evolution of Chinese Characters, specifically of character’丝’.The posters provided the audience a deeper understanding of silk, its impact on Chinese history and culture. Other entertainment programs in the evening included the lion dance performed by the San Diego Chinese Benevolent Association; and Magic Show.
The gala ended on a high note with guests wishing one another a prosperous new year.
On the afternoon of January 26, 2014, the House of China in International Cottage in Balboa Park hosted a Chinese New Year celebration at the park. Confucius Institution at San Diego State University was invited to participate in this celebration. CI/SDSU presented a Chinese culture show, ‘Silk Road of China’ to the audience of more than 300 people.
This celebration included Chinese culture shows, sampling traditional Chinese cuisine, writing Chinese names for visitors, as well as other forms of entertainment. David Seid, President of the House of China, opened the celebration by inviting the Fortune God to the stage. He also shared with the audience the symbolic significance of the Fortune God. It was the first time the ‘Silk Road of China’ was performed at Balboa Park. Many visitors surrounded the stage with amazement as they marveled at the elegant traditional Chinese costumes modeled by CI staff members and volunteers.
Other performances included Chinese songs by students of Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy and a grand finale of Lion Dance performed by Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society.
On January 25, 2014, Managing Director at Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the Chinese New Year Celebration co-hosted by the San Diego Chinese Culture Association and North County Chinese School.
Hundreds of students, parents, and family members participated in this festive event held at Oak Valley Middle school. Students from all grade levels presented a fabulous show of entertainment for the audience. Following the performances, a carnival with many variations of homemade delicious Chinese New Year traditional foods, games and arts provided fun and entertainment for hours for the attendees. This celebration is the biggest fund raising event for North County Chinese School.
On Saturday, January 25, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the lecture, “Ah Quin: Life, Leadership, & Legacy “at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. The lecture was presented by Curator of Chinese American History, Mr. Murray Lee. Mr. Ah Quin was once considered the Honorary Mayor of San Diego Chinatown in the 19th century.
This exhibit follows Ah Quin from his beginnings at a missionary school in Guangzhou; through the menial servitude he experienced in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and a coal mining camp in Alaska; his journey finally brought him to the Red Light District of San Diego. With his fluency in English, he acted as a recruit scout for the US Railways for Chinese labor. In addition to offer his assistance in many aspects for these laborers, he also taught them English. Through his life, he was well respected by the community, which earned him the unofficial title, the “Honorary Mayor of San Diego Chinatown”.
This presentation commemorated the 100th anniversary of Ah Quin’s untimely death in 1914. Many of his descendants attended the event in honor of him who provided a unique contribution to early Chinese American history.
Dr. Lilly Cheng gave concluding remarks and answered inquiries about Chinese names, dialects and history.
On Saturday, January 25, 2014, Riverview Elementary & International Academy hosted its Chinese New Year celebration at Tierra del Sol Middle School. More than 500 students, parents and teachers participated at this event, including Principal Scott Goergen of Tierra Del So Middle School; Riverview PTSA President Mrs. Marisa Robertson; and Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng.
The program included many song and dance shows by the various grade levels of Riverview students, and a performance by Tierra del Sol Middle School students. Led by their teachers, students from each grade level came on stage for a variety of Chinese songs. CI at SDSU presented a Chinese Culture Show “Silk Road to China”. Many CI staff members and volunteers modeled numerous gorgeous, exquisite Chinese outfits, showcasing the evolution of silk clothing. The audience was in awe by the elaborate collection of Chinese garments. In addition, the audience was able to acquire a deeper understanding of Chinese culture by Dr. Cheng’s explicit narration. The grand finale was a Lion Dance performed by Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society.
Chinese teachers from Riverview Elementary School provided Chinese calligraphy demonstration, Chinese paper-cut art craft, and Beijing Opera masks for a hands-on activity for all to experience at the celebration.
The event not only featured the Mandarin proficiency of the Riverview students, but introduced many aspects of Chinese culture to the crowd, enticing their interests the Chinese language and culture.
On January 23, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng; Co-Director, Wei Lu; and Project Manager, Anne Chu; visited E3 Civic High School, a charter school in the newly opened Central Library at Downtown San Diego. Currently, there are 2 Hanban teachers and one volunteer teacher teaching Mandarin beginner courses to 6 classes of students.
Dr. Ke Xu, Director of Faculty and Students Affairs at E3, warmly greeted the guests. He first introduced the background and the mission of E3 to the guests. The visitors were escorted on a grand tour of the campus by Dr. Xu. He expressed his sincere appreciation of the strong support from CI at SDSU. Both parties engaged in a series of discussions on mutual concerns, such as ways to improve the Mandarin programs, and what support E3 might provide to assist newly arrived Chinese teachers and volunteers to be acclimated sooner into the local teaching environment.
In addition to assisting in the preparation of the Confucius Classroom application, CI at SDSU pledged to continue its support of E3 Civic High School, which included the development of the Mandarin program, demands of the Mandarin teachers, participating in culture activities or festivals, etc. Moreover, Confucius Institution would assist E3 Civic High School in it search of a compatible secondary school in China to establish a sister-school relation. The visitors from CI also observed the Mandarin course taught by Hanban teacher, Cindy Wang.
E3 Civic High School is the newest Charter School in San Diego Unified School District. Its establishment was based on new technology concepts and modern equipment. e3 is focused on shaping students with an international perspectives, critical thinking, and teamwork spirit, etc, which is evident from the origin of its name, “Engage, Educated, and Empower”.
On January 18, 2014, Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society held its Casino Night Gala. This Gala was held to raise fund for its Youth Outreach Program which aimed to help under-privileged children the opportunity to discover the benefits of art, music, and cultural programs.
Led by Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng, many CI staff arrived early at the event to help with the set up. Throughout the evening, guests were invited to try their luck at the gaming tables, tour the facility, learn about other programs offered by the Three Treasure, including Community Services, Kung Fu massage by the shifu, martial arts and lion dance.
The event was attended by hundreds of community supporters.
On January 17, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the Chinese New Year banquet, hosted by ‘Families with Children from China-San Diego’ (FCC-SD) in celebration of the coming Lunar New Year. The guest speaker featured at the banquet celebration was Jenni “Fang” Lee, a woman adopted from China at a young age who shared on her experience at the event. She would be hosting a workshop for the FCCSD youths and parents on January 18 and 19th.
FCC-SD is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes. More specifically: its mission is to provide educational, cultural, and informational resources; offer activities and services to families with adopted children from China, or considering adoption from China. FCCSD also aims to promote awareness and appreciation of Chinese culture in children, strengthening their ties to the Chinese heritage; and to advocate for and support children remaining in orphanages in China.