Xavier celebrates Chinese New Year with local students

This academic year, the Confucius Institute continued with its mission to broaden language and culture programs offered to Xavier University, Delgado Community College and high school students around the city. The CI’s activities included celebration of the Chinese New Year in February and the upcoming study abroad program in Beijing, China, said executive director Dr. Yu Jiang.

Jiang said the Confucius Institute teaches Mandarin and introduces students to the Chinese culture at seven schools in New Orleans, ranging from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. On Feb. 26, the institute hosted a number of local students for the Chinese New Year event at the University Center, which showcased dances, Mandarin songs, and a dragon performance. Roughly 20 students from Lusher Middle School performed a zodiac and dragon dance at the New Year’s event; and students from Lusher Elementary School performed a fan dance, which brings good luck and prosperity in Chinese culture

“Seeing our students get to experience another culture is very gratifying as a teacher,” said Erin Louviere, who teaches at Lusher High School. This year’s celebration was about the kids in the community and what they have learned about the Mandarin language, Louviere said.

May Exchange Readied

The Confucius Institute’s mission is to help Xavier students become global leaders, which includes learning more about China, its people and its diverse culture, Jiang said. Through the institute’s partnership with Hebei University in Baoding, China, Xavier students who successfully study Mandarin spend two weeks interacting with students and faculty at Hebei. The CI’s third exchange is May 11-26, 2015.

“Through this trip to China, our students learn from their counterparts, which will help the students to gain a global perspective that contributes to Xavier’s mission,” Jiang said. “This trip should enhance the cultural and international competency of our students” with the goal of expanding study abroad opportunities in China.

The Confucius Institute delegation includes: Alexis Greer, psychology; Jusiah Lynn Prowell, psychology; Evan C. Reynolds, business; Eric Craig, political science; Bria Carmichael, biology; Randi Thomas, biology; Nia Bealsey, biology; Hoang Michael Nguyen, biology; Anthony Nguyen, chemistry; Keajuana Crymes, business; Kelli R. Joseph, physics; Andres Anthaume, nursing; Stanley Manton, general studies; Leon Burgess, pharmacy; Ogechi Iwvorie, pharmacy; Melinda Shelton, mass communication faculty/staff; Dr. Lori Crawford, College of Pharmacy; Rongyao Wen, Confucius Institute.

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