Confucius Institute to Host Cultural Festival

Austin Davis and Gerri Kelly
Sept. 18, 2012

A week is planned to inform on Chinese medicine, martial arts, and Tai Chi to poetry, movies and music, the Confucius Institute at the UA is presenting its first Chinese Culture Festival.

“It is well known that people around the world are interested in the long history, extraordinary culture and recent economic advancement in China," said Zhao Chen, co-director of the Confucius Institute.

"More than 40 million people outside of China currently study Chinese," Chen said. "The rise of Chinese language instruction in American schools has been a phenomenon even in places that don’t have a significant Chinese population."

The Sept. 22-30 festival, which is free and open to the public, will be held jointly on campus and other locations in Tucson. The festival is an example of the institute's mission to enhance people’s understanding and appreciation of Chinese language and cultural heritage.

Among the events:

Sept. 22: Chinese Health Day will be held 8 a.m. to noon featuring Junmin Zhao and Junjie Feng. Both are Chinese martial arts and Tai Chi masters from Shaolin, China and were performers at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The event will be held at Reid Park's DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, 1100 S. Randolph Way.

Sept. 23: A lecture on Chinese martial arts will be held 3-5 p.m. in the South Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center. The lecture will be held by Junmin Zhao and Junjie Feng, and will include a live demonstration of traditional Chinese weaponry.

Sept. 25: A lecture on traditional Chinese music, along with a presentation, will be held 11 a.m. to noon at the UA's Crowder Hall, 1017 E. Olive Road.

Sept. 29: Chinese Language Day will be held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Road. During the day, students from all levels will test their knowledge of Chinese language. Other educational and interactive activities will be organized.

Sept. 30: The Moon Festival Concert will be held 7-9 p.m. During the concert, performers will present traditional Chinese music, folk songs and choral masterwork. The event will be held at UA's Crowder Hall.

For a full list of events, visit the UA Confucius Center. Also, for information, contact Larry Lang at 520-626-5124 or

Established in 2008, the UA institute is among about 400 such organizations across the globe. The institute also provides comprehensive training to teachers of Chinese language and culture and also promotes health and wellness via a focus on Chinese medicine, martial arts, music and performance.

“The Confucius Institute is committed to serving the Tucson community’s interest in learning about Chinese language and culture,” Chen said. “The festival programs are specifically designed for health promotion, cultural enrichment and entertainment for all ages.”

Chen hopes the festival will be a bridge between Chinese and American culture. The CIUA is working closely with other university and community organizations to deliver a broad spectrum of events to enhance the Chinese cultural experience.

Among the week's sponsors are the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, the UA Poetry Center, the College of Humanities, the School of Music, the College of Fine Arts, the Tucson Chinese Association, Tucson Sino Choir and the Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion.

Photos courtesy of the Confucius Institute


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