Feature: Growing interest in Chinese culture as Lunar New Year marked in Lithuania

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-18 02:15:44|Editor: yan
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by Guo Mingfang

VILNIUS, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- A story about Chinese Lunar New Year customs was published in Lithuania's leading and most widely circulated newspaper Lietuvos rytas Saturday, the second day of Chinese New Year.

It is an interview with Zhou Jie, Chinese Director of Vilnius University Confucius Institute, highlighting Chinese New Year customs and food served during the festival.

"Actually the interview took place nearly one month ago, just here at my apartment. I was detailing the colorful Chinese New Year customs and traditions while showing how to make dumplings," Zhou told Xinhua at her residence in Vilnius.

Zhou said the reporter showed big interests in the Lunar New Year decorations she made, and all the customs and related stories she told and elaborated, especially the legend of the Nian Monster.

"They prepared for our New Year Festival one month ago and chose right time to publish... showing the newspaper treated it seriously, and wanted to show local people a real and typical Chinese New Year looks like."

She added this also shows the local people have a strong interest in Chinese New Year and want to know more about China and Chinese culture as well.

Two days ahead of the Lunar New Year, hundreds of students and teachers were taking part in a celebration in the Confucius Classroom of Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Engineering Lyceum to mark Chinese Lunar New Year".

The programs during the event included students' New Year gala, practicing Chinese calligraphy and kung fu, enjoying Chinese tea service and making and eating dumplings.

Organized jointly with Vilnius University Confucius Institute, the event won a big success and culminated in students rushing to taste dumplings made by themselves.

"l know it would be like that. We held this kind of celebrations and Chinese culture presentations every year on almost all big Chinese traditional festivals since 2011, and every time just as successful and welcomed. There are many pictures to show this," said Regina Mikalausikiene, principle of the Lyceum, while showing Xinhua the pictures on the computer.

The Lyceum introduced Chinese interest classes in 2011. In 2014, it officially opened Confucius Classroom and became the first and only Confucius Classroom established by Vilnius University Confucius Institute in Lithuania.

"Why introduce Chinese teaching and promote Chinese culture here? I have a strong interest in Chinese culture, and I want to broaden my students' knowledge and vision, making the school more international," said the principle.

Mikalausikiene told Xinhua that she planned to integrate Chinese teaching into the routine teaching system by adding two Chinese classes a week to the curriculum of grade one to grade 10.

"Then we must need your help to send more good Chinese teachers here," Regina turned to Vilma Sniukstaite, acting Lithuanian Director of Vilnius University Confucius Institute, who was present at the event.

Sniukstaite told Xinhua that with the development of Chinese economy, there are more and more people in Lithuania who want to learn Chinese and know Chinese culture.

"Many high schools have showed us the intention to open Confucius Classrooms. We will try to satisfy the need and offer more chances to learn Chinese and understand China by opening more Confucius Classrooms and Chinese teaching classes."