On February 27, the Confucius Institute (CI) of The UWI in collaboration with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China hosted a Chinese Spring Festival Celebration in commemoration of the observance of the Chinese New Year.
A packed Daaga Auditorium audience was entertained by a performance from the Chinese Arts and Culture Studies Society entitled “Dragon and Lion Dances” – a veritable showcase of synchronised acrobatic feats as duelling dancers brought a costumed dragon to life. Aerial somersaults over stacked tables and chairs electrified the crowd and started the night on a literal high note.
The celebration continued with a steelpan performance of a traditional Chinese Folk song and a classical Chinese dance by a dance troupe from The UWI’s Department of Creative and Festival Arts. Students of CI highlighted their proficiency in Mandarin by reading an essay by renowned Chinese writer Zhu Ziqing, named Spring.
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal Professor Clement Sankat offered his remarks highlighting The UWI’s continued efforts to build a relationship with China and embrace Chinese culture through the work of the Confucius Institute. He was followed by the translated remarks of the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Huang Xingyuan.
Two of the night’s most unforgettable performances occurred when the special guest performers were revealed. Ambassador of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to the People’s Republic of China, Chandradath Singh and his son, Sharan Singh, Director of The UWI’s Office of Institutional Advancement and Internationalisation, performed an instrumental duet of steelpan and cajón (a six-sided, box-shaped percussion instrument). The last performance of the night was a surprise solo rendition of a patriotic song called “My Chinese Heart” by Ambassador Huang that ended in a standing ovation from a very appreciative audience.