On September 26, 2014, CIM held a Chinese Language and Culture Festival on Hornbake Mall at the UMD to observe a significant milestone: the tenth anniversary of its 2004 Opening Ceremony (the very first Confucius Institute!).CIM’s partner university has been Nankai University, in Tianjin, China. Overseeing the Confucius Institutes worldwide is the Office of Chinese Language Council International, or Hanban, in Beijing. With perfect weather to add to the auspicious occasion, the festival opened with spectacular and magnificent dragon and lion dances brought to us by the Wong People, a popular local martial arts group. UMD president, Dr. Wallace Loh, and CIM director, Dr. Donna Wiseman, gave enthusiastic welcome remarks and led the entire audience in singing a raucous “Happy Birthday!” to CIM and Hanban.
CI Day festivities were emceed by two UMD and CIM students: Nathaniel Goldstein and Olivia Brann, both of whom speak beautiful Mandarin. The event also featured a performance stage, several tents with Chinese handcrafts, artifacts, and demonstrations: calligraphy, opera masks to color, books and paintings on display, a “Great Wall” message scroll for everyone to sign, the chance to sit with a Chinese doctor, and the opportunity to “dress up” in a long dragon-dance outfit with the poles to lift it up and run around with. A painting exhibition was held in nearby Hornbake Library, and a great variety of performances was presented throughout the day. Spectators enjoyed colorful and delightful traditional dances, singing, and martial arts, provided by the Xiamen University Performance Troupe. Many area K-12 schools participated, with groups of students presenting more music, dance, and cultural offerings, and to top it off, enjoying ice cream provided by the UMD’s own Dairy. We look forward to the next 10 years!