On February 2nd, Confucius Institute of University of South Carolina hosted a New Year's Spring celebration and annual report reception at the USC Alumni Association Center. The day of this event also happens to be the ten-year anniversary of the Confucius Institute UofSC branch.
More than 180 involved figures showed up at the event, including Dr. Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, vice president of UofSC; representatives of the South Carolina State education department; Chinese teaching coordinators of South Carolina school districts and principals of affiliated schools. Teachers and Chinese program participants also attended the reception.
Mary Anne Fitzpatrick gave a speech on the development of Confucius Institute at UofSC in many fields over the past ten years. She emphasized the contributions Confucius Institute made in Chinese language teaching, in increasing acceptance and appreciation of Chinese culture in local areas, as well as in constructing of a culture communication platform between US and China. She also read a letter of appreciation by UofSC president Dr. Harris Pastides and gave CI director Tan Ye an "extraordinary contributions" award on behalf of President Pastides.
The President and chief organizer of South Carolina Culture Festivals, Raj Aluri, mentioned how he developed 10 years of friendship with CI at UofSC. He stressed on the strength and depth of the friendship and expressed his sincere thanks to CI at UofSC for its unwavering support in cultural exchange activities for the last decade. He hopes that CI at UofSC will bring even greater cultural influence on communities in South Carolina.
The headmaster of East Point Academy, Mark Bounds, gave a speech on the unique advantages a multilingual immersed education environment might provide to students. Mark Bounds also thanked CI at UofSC for its irreplaceable support in planning and building such an environment.
Tan Ye, the Chief director of CI at UofSC, presented a Power Point recounting the efforts and accomplishments of the CI branch in the last decade, while projecting future constructive plans in Chinese teaching, spreading the acceptance of Chinese culture, and enhancing mutual understanding and respect between China and the U.S.
The entertainment of the reception consisted of shows by the BLCU and Beijing Dance Academy performance party. They started with a Mongolian dance Sawurdin, which showed the warm and welcoming personality characteristic of Mongolians. A musical solo played by the Mongolian traditional instrument Horsehead Fiddle "horse pack running like thunder" followed the ceremonial dance, and the audience was impressed by the vivid music display portraying tens of thousands of horses running across the grassy plain. The show ended with a dance "Blossoms on the Silk Road". This dance was a perfect mix of dance cultures from different minority ethnic groups one might meet on the Silk Road. Aside from thunderous applause, the audience was completely captivated and cheered the group on with undying enthusiasm.
The reception has successfully deepened the understanding and friendship between CI at UofSC, local communities, and the State Education Department. There is no doubt that CI at UofSC has made great progress during the last decade and is now an important factor in the field of education in South Carolina. CI at UofSC shall continue to do its best on increasing the regional influence of Chinese culture and building communicative platforms between Chinese and American cultures.