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  • Tasting and touching another culture - Chinese Cultural Day in the JEZSU

Tasting and touching another culture - Chinese Cultural Day in the JEZSU Featured

“When we say education is to prepare our children to face the world, face life, we have to know what kind of world, what kind of life.” Ms Wang Fanfan, teacher of the Chinese language in JEZSU since 2017 believes encountering a culture and learning a foreign language are opportunities to connect with the outside world in a deeper way. “Of course the students know about Asia from geography or history lessons, but that is just information they can’t taste and touch. During the activities of the day of Chinese Culture (Photo album HERE) and...

later the Chinese language lessons, the children can literally touch the culture, and have their own understanding about that part of the world. They don’t just know about that part of the world, they can connect to that part of the world. That is how we prepare them. This is why it is so useful to have English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese language education in JEZSU. Our students are able, through these languages, to connect to other cultures.

57 students from the 6-11 grades took part in the programs of Chinese Cultural Day on April 23, Saturday. Three Chinese guests, language teachers and a Kung Fu master from ELTE Confucius Institute, two JEZSU alumni and several 10-12th graders also contributed to the program. . The students were introduced to and could practice Kung Fu, Chinese bamboo brush writing, ink painting, paper cutting and more. They also practiced the use of chopsticks by tasting special Chinese steamed bread and games and competitions. After the four thematic group activities students gathered in a plenary lectures given by JEZSU students and alumni. Evelin Polyák and Ilona Tóth (12th grade) talked about what they have learnt in the JEZSU Chinese program, Zsófia Kovács, (graduate of 2019) presently studying medicine at Debrecen University shared her experiences of the JEZSU Chinese program and the National Chinese Language Competition organized by the Embassy of China in 2017 where she had been silver medalist. She also talked about how foreign language learning helped her in university life. Gábor Bakondi (graduate of 2020), studying in BME, shared his experience of spending a semester at the Beijing Institute of Technology in the summer of 2018 with a scholarship from ELTE Confucius Institute through the JEZSU Chinese language program.

Zsanett Szabó and Csillag Sólyom presented videos about their time in a language summer camp in China, and everyday life of the Chinese people. Zselyke Panyi and Rozi Radimeczky made a Kahoot game for the audience that seemed really animated and much fun.

The Kung Fu lessons consisted of some basic moves of Kung Fu and Tai Chi, and made a very deep impression even on those JEZSU students, who used to think themselves “less athletic”. At least five students asked Ms Fanfan when we will start having regular Kung Fu lessons in the school. Another student commented that she normally does not enjoy any kind of sports, but Tai-Chi seemed quite a reasonable type of exercise even for her.

Thanks to the 5 student assistants (present students of Chinese language), Csenge Szabó, Lola Dovák , Radimeczky Miksa, Zsófia Novák, and Csillag Sólyom, who responsibly helped with logistics, assisted the guest teachers with preparations before and cleaning up after the arts and crafts activities, guided the groups from one location to the next, moreover, if necessary, acted as interpreters for our esteemed Chinese guests, and stood by always ready to help practise the arts and crafts skills or chopstick use to the very beginners, there was no need to involve any JEZSU teachers in the program; the assistants took over the leadership of the group activities and provided full support to the guest teachers. “Even I was just watching everything from the outside,” commented Ms Fanfan. “The whole event was for the students, by the students. The application process for the day made sure that only those students took part in the program who felt really interested, therefore there was no need to discipline anyone. There were no teachers to tell the children what to do. This has been a way of leadership training for these senior grade students, and everyone was very motivated to learn something new about Chinese culture. It was a very successful event.”

We are grateful to Prof. Dr. Imre Hamar, and Dr. Di Denggui directors of ELTE Confucius Institute, and Fr. Ferenc Holczinger, director of JEZSU for making this complex event possible by their fruitful cooperation. The students and the JEZSU community thank the guest teachers Mr Wu Leidun, Ms Sun Baifang and Ms Chi Ying and Mr Kristóf Kövér, gold medalist of 2018 Shaolin Wushu Europe Chamionship (Gunshu) for coming to our students, and we hope they will again come and visit us in the future.
We are grateful to ELTE Confucius Institute for providing the arts and crafts materials (scissors, colored paper, rice paper, brushes, ink), decorations, (Chinese lanterns, Chinese knot, little panda bears for the three classrooms), to JEZSU for the steamed bread and the chopsticks for each student.
Congratulations to Ms Wang Fanfan, our own beloved Chinese teacher for preparing and organizing this exquisite program, and Dr. Edit Bukovszki vice director of JEZSU for making a place for the event in the usual JEZSU Community weekend.
(Judit Szelenge)