Encircled by a group of spectators, Dr. Lei Jiang dips his brush into a bowl of black ink. With fluid and smooth movements, he demonstrates the art of calligraphy on a large piece of blank white paper.
In collaboration with Dalhousie’s office of international relations, the university’s Chinese Studies program celebrated its 10th anniversary in the Student Union Building.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase and celebrate what we have achieved,” says Dr. Shao-Pin Luo, coordinator of the program.
“I’m just most proud of my students,” adds Luo. “Every day they make me happy and they inspire me. Basically this is all for them.”
China Day featured many cultural and scholastic events, such as the launch of University of King’s College professor Dr. Simon Kow’s new book China in Early Enlightenment Political Thought, and a screening of films from the National Film Board of Canada and China’s Hangzhou Puppet Animation Studio.
“It’s nice to have a bit of everything – there’s calligraphy, there’s films,” says Jonathan Bertram, a third-year philosophy student and president of the Dalhousie Chinese Society.
“It’s nice to see that diversity of content all in the same place.”
Luo says the main goal of China Day is to raise awareness of the program, which includes a minor program, language and cross-listed classes, and to allow visitors to engage with Chinese culture.
“It’s always a two-way street. People learn from one another. Cultural exchanges and cultural dialogues are the foremost important,” says Luo.
“I do think that Chinese as a language, and also China as a country, is increasingly becoming more important in the global picture,” adds Tanisha Chakma, a former student in the Chinese Studies minor program.
“I hope that Chinese studies gets the visibility that it needs.”