Central University of Jharkhand celebrates Chinese New Year (Spring Festival)
The Central University of Jharkhand was established through the Central Universities Act 2009. In the last four years, it has introduced twenty different subjects ranging from Applied Sciences and Engineering to Far East Languages which includes Chinese language. The Centre for Far East Languages (Chinese) was established in 2012. During these few years the Centre has introduced 5 Year Integrated (Bachelors + Masters) Degree Course and One Year Diploma and Six Months Certificate Courses. At Present there are 5 faculties and 36 students enrolled in different Programs in the Centre. Apart from Chinese language and Literature, there are courses on various aspects like Chinese History, Geography, Politics, and Culture etc. These courses include extensive usage of the Audio-Visual Language Lab, which makes the courses interesting and efficient. Along with these courses the centre has been trying to include more and more extracurricular activities to provide a better language learning environment for the students. These include time to time Chinese movie shows and Interactive sessions with faculties from Universities like Jawaharlal Nehru University and overseas.
Speaking about extracurricular activities, this year the Centre has endeavored to solemnly celebrate the most important festival of China which is commonly known as the Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival (春节). As this was the first time the Centre was celebrating the festival, therefore to make the people acquainted with extensive knowledge about China and its culture, the Centre has invited few international scholars from China. These international scholars include Ms. Ma Yuge (马宇歌), D.Phil from University of Oxford, Mr. Zhang Yang (张洋), research scholar in Jawaharlal Nehru University and Mr. Wu Weixing (武伟星), student from Visva-Bharati (Santiniketan). All the three international scholars enthusiastically took part in the celebration and imparted their knowledge to the students.
The first day (12/02/2014) of the celebration started with a quiz and speech contest. The topics were extensively based on China. Students from different centres took part in the competition and showed their zest for China and its culture. The second day (13/02/2014) celebration convened by the Chinese folk art and culture imparted by Mr. Wu Weixing. He bestowed the students with his knowledge of paper cutting (剪纸) and Chinese calligraphy (书法). Students enthusiastically took part in the activity and learned the paper cutting of ‘Double Happiness’ (双喜). This activity was followed by Chinese Tea Culture. The students were delighted to taste the different varieties of teas brought by the teachers from China. In the very day afternoon, Ms. Ma Yuge delivered her lecture on Juxtapose: a global odyssey of knowing China and India. She was accompanied by Mr. Zhang Yang in her presentation on his guitar. In the interactive session, she was asked about different issues on Sino-India bilateral relations and Chinese politics. Ms. Ma Yuge enlightened the audience with her knowledge and wisdom. The Centre summoned the students to interact with the three Chinese scholars to share their heart with the students. Mr. Zhang Yang shared his view on skills of learning Chinese with the students. The last day of celebration (14/02/2014) convened by some Chinese cultural extravaganza performed by the students of Chinese Centre. The students of Chinese Centre performed two short plays in Chinese, performed dances on Chinese songs and sang Chinese songs. The whole auditorium was mesmerized by their fluent Chinese. In this program Ms. Ma Yuge and Mr. Zhang Yang sang one Chinese song which is Zhang composed with the Chinese ancient poem and one Hindi song for the audience. During the cultural activity Ms. Ma Yuge, Mr. Zhang Yang and Mr. Wu Weixing were felicitated by the Vice chancellor of the University. The Registrar delivered his keynote on the need to bridge the gap between India-China cultural traits. Ms. Ma Yuge presented her book ‘Grow up in India’ 《去印度成长》to the library of the univeristy. Mr. Wu Weixing also presented his paper cutting to the Vice chancellor.
During interactive session, after the lecture delivered by Ms. Ma Yuge on the topic Juxtapose: a global odyssey of knowing China and India, I strongly felt that the two ancient nations are still dwelling on some speculations of each other. As the famous Chinese quotation goes “have only partial understanding of a situation“(但知其一，不知其所以然), both India and China has the same understanding of each. They only know one facet of the situation and deduce conclusion without any concrete fact. For example one student asked Ms. Ma Yuge that what is the number of Chinese students in China, who are learning Hindi. Apparently the student also didn’t know how many Indian students are learning Chinese within India. To answer this question I feel that the Chinese Govt. is promoting their language, and as culture is an indispensable part of language, therefore one may say that China is promoting its soft power. One can easily fetch a colossal amount of money after mastering the basics in Chinese. The question lies that why don’t Indian Govt. also promote its soft power? Only if the Indian side promotes its language and culture, can Chinese people understand India in a new holistic way. Only if we understand each other, can we solve many disputed issues. We should start thinking in new horizon of wisdom that whether to settle all the bilateral issues by nuclear weapons or by understanding each other and settle the issues by peaceful negotiations. As Ms. Ma Yuge has rightly pointed out that there are many issues yet to be discussed in public, only if we stop speculating out of imaginations and start re-pondering issues based on concrete facts.
*(The piece is open for editing except the views expressed by the author).