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1st Confucius Institute Art Festival opens in Beijing

Reporter: Li Qiong 丨 CCTV.com

06-28-2016 00:40 BJT

With an increasing number of people from across the world being interested in learning aspects of Chinese culture such as language, music and food, the Confucius Institute has been launching different activities to satisfy this new demand. The very first Art Festival of the institute kicked off at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing with around 50 overseas students and teachers in attendance to get a flavour of what China has to offer.

Music is sometimes the best way to start learning a second language and it's culture.

At the opening ceremony of the first Confucius Institute Art Festival some of the people learning Chinese have decided to try out new instruments from the country which proves to be quite difficult for some.

Jose Valente studied at the Royal Danish Academy of music and he got to know about Chinese instruments at the Confucius Institute branch of his school and has been obsessed ever since. This Guzheng performance is a result of his six months' learning.

Music is sometimes the best way to start learning a second language and it

Music is sometimes the best way to start learning a second language and it's culture.

Each summer the Confucius Institute holds a music tour in China for the Chinese culture lovers across the world. The Central Conservatory of Music has been a major partner university.

"Music is a great way for communication among different cultures that are actually integrating. Many of the Chinese folk instruments such as Guzheng, the Chinese dulcimer and Erhu were originally introduced to China through the Silk Road from the Middle East countries. They were later largely developed in China. We like to enable more people to know about our cultures," said Yu Feng, president of China Centra; Conservatory of Music.

Activities like this are frequently held by the Confucius Institute to get students pumped up about Chinese language and culture. Confucius' theories were introduced to the western world over 400 years ago, through a Latin version of the Analects of Confucius. Since then, a wide range of people from across the world have gotten to learn about Eastern history and philosophy.

The very first Art Festival of the institute kicked off at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing with around 50 overseas students and teachers in attendance to get a flavour of what China has to offer.

The very first Art Festival of the institute kicked off at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing with around 50 overseas students and teachers in attendance to get a flavour of what China has to offer.

Ms. Liu Yuening has been working for the Music Confucius Institute ever since it's established 4 years ago. As a world renowned Chinese dulcimer player herself, Liu has spent the past decade introducing traditional Chinese music to the world. Whenever she played her instruments abroad, audiences would always be interested and curious.

"I can still remember the day when I played the Chinese dulcimer in Ukraine ten years ago. After I finished my performance, an elder audience member came onto the stage and presented me with flowers. We speak different languages, but she told me in tears that my music was so beautiful that she totally understood it. Music combines all peoples, beyond politics or conflicts. It's all about respect and sharing," Liu said.

The first Confucius Institute opened in 2004 in Seoul, South Korea. Hundreds more have opened since in different countries around the world. They have been one of the stops for Chinese leaders' state visits to other countries in recent years, as a symbol of cultural exchanges. As the number of Chinese language learners booms, the program is still expanding in order to keep up.

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