The University of Macau (UM) Confucius Institute recently held the first graduation ceremony in the 2018/2019 academic year for students from its Chinese language courses and an inauguration ceremony for its alumni association in the Black Box Theatre in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (FAH). Some students say that the Chinese language courses offered by UM have increased their understanding of Chinese language and culture, and they believe that the alumni association will help to strengthen ties between faculty members and students from different places.
In her speech, Prof Hong Gang Jin, dean of the FAH and director of the UM Confucius Institute, said that the institute has the responsibility to promote Chinese language and culture, and it offers Chinese language courses to non-Chinese-speakers in Macao. According to Jin, since its establishment in April, the institute has organised various academic and exchange activities in order to enhance its teaching and research capacity in the field. With the enrolment of more students and the organisation of more academic forums and exchange activities, the institute will be able to integrate resources and use its advantages to make outstanding contributions to cross-cultural communication in Macao.
During the ceremony, students in the elementary and intermediate Chinese courses showcased their talents. Portuguese student João Rato (Chinese name: Tao Mingjie) recited the poem ‘Mudam-se os tempos, mudam-se as vontades’ by the Portuguese poet Luís Vaz de Camões. Members of the UM Chinese Opera Association gave a Kun opera performance and a Chinese Kung Fu performance to illustrate the charm of traditional Chinese culture. Hou Xiaoming and Wen Han, instructors in the Confucius Institute, expressed their hope that students would benefit from the courses and meet friends from different cultural backgrounds. Excellent Student Awards, Outstanding Student Awards, and Hardworking Student Awards were also presented during the event.
At the same event, the institute held an inauguration ceremony for its alumni association. Prof Jin appointed a Korean student named Cho Hyung Je as the first president of the association.
Guests who attended the ceremony included Xu Jie, head of the Department of Chinese Language and Culture, who is also a Chang Jiang Scholar Chair Professor; Prof Zhu Shoutong, director of the Research Centre for Humanities in South China and associate director of the Centre for Chinese History and Culture; and Prof Chen Zhong, deputy director of the UM Confucius Institute.