¡°So that the flower of Chinese study can blossom even more beautifully here¡±
The opening of the Cultural Activity Center of the Confucius Institute at Mahasarakham University

[Source]    people.cn [Time]    2016-03-31 09:42:23 

¡°We are trying to make the Confucius Institute the best Chinese language and cultural center in northeastern Thailand, so that the flower of Chinese study can blossom even more beautifully here,¡± said Lin Haoye, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at Mahasarakham University, Thailand, during an interview at the opening of the CI¡¯s Cultural Activity Center.

On the afternoon of March 22, all the stops were pulled out for the opening ceremony of the CI Cultural Activity Center. Guests included Princess Sirindhom, who came especially for the opening ceremony, members of local government, members of the Chinese embassy staff, Confucius Institute representatives from Thailand, Laos, and Indonesia, and a wide cross-section of the public, for a total of more than 500 attendees.

Princess Sirindhom toured the new CI Cultural Activity Center and saw the results of CI¡¯s Chinese program. She listened intently to the introductions, and asked detailed questions about the Confucius Institute¡¯s history, development, and its partnership with the university. She also generously wrote a name placard for the new center, and watched with keen interest as the Guangxi University for Nationalities Art Troupe performed a piece highly typical of Guangxi¡¯s indigenous minority traditions to welcome guests to the ceremony.

The building that houses the Cultural Activity Center of the Confucius Institute at Mahasarakham University covers an area of over 10,000sqm. In 2015, the Confucius Institute at Mahasarakham University suggested the construction of this center, an idea which garnered strong support from the university. The university followed up with financial support, putting forward a design for a traditional Chinese structure that was also funded in part by Confucius Institute Headquarters. The completed CI Cultural Activity Center will be a venue for training, cultural exhibitions, competitions and academic conferences, giving the Confucius Institute more influence and accelerating its development.

The same evening, the Confucius Institute also celebrated the 10th anniversary of its founding. To honor the occasion, the students and teachers of the Guangxi University for Nationalities Art Troupe and teachers and students from northeastern Thailand presented an imaginative performance that mixed elements from Thai and Chinese culture.

The Confucius Institute at Mahasarakham University was co-established by the Guangxi University for Nationalities and Mahasarakham University. On campus, it has its own building, as well as the Confucius Park, a unique green space designed to imitate a Chinese garden, the new CI Cultural Activity Center, with its own Chinese-style building, and the Northeastern Thailand Chinese Library. The Confucius Institute currently operates more than 30 classrooms and 10 Chinese culture centers over eight provinces in northeastern Thailand, serving over 30,000 students and forming a network for Chinese-language education and the promotion of Chinese culture in Thailand¡¯s northeast.

As Chinese language fever heats up, the Thai royal family, government, and people have come to realize the importance of Chinese, and in recent years the number of universities, high schools, and primary schools offering Chinese courses has been on the increase. In Thailand, there is currently a total of 14 Confucius Institutes and 11 Confucius Classrooms.

Today Confucius Institutes in Thailand have begun to take shape, with both Chinese language education courses (including those for local communities) and Chinese language teacher training already underway. They also offer information and events to educate the public about China and its culture. Each Confucius Institute adapts to its local conditions and uses its advantages to create unique teaching methods, becoming a window and a bridge for Thailand¡¯s people to learn about China, its language, and its culture, and together making every Confucius Institute a welcome guest of the Thai government and people.

Volunteer teacher Ouyang Jiayan, who has taught at Mahasarakham University for three years, happily told us, ¡°It¡¯s alright that conditions aren¡¯t perfect here, because seeing how seriously Thai students take learning Chinese makes me very happy.¡±

MAHASARAKHAM, THAILAND, March 23 (people.cn)

Journalist: Yang Ou