by Guo Mingfang
VILNIUS, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Red lanterns, Chinese knots, a costumed character of panda, festive decorations and arrangements featuring Chinese elements were made in the main teaching building of the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Engineering Lyceum, as a celebration for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year was staged here on Wednesday.
The celebration, co-organized by Vilnius University Confucius Institute, attracted hundreds of students and teachers. Some of the participators gave a gala performance, which includes Chinese calligraphy, martial arts, traditional tea ceremony and dumplings making.
A student of ninth grade told Xinhua that he's very interested in Chinese culture and language, which are "so different even from Korean and Japanese ones, not mention that of the European countries", and the calligraphy which fascinated him most gave him chances to express himself in a different way.
Chinese food, which has been popular in many parts of the world, is another attraction for the guests of the celebration.
The guests of the celebration had a chance to personally make dumplings, a must-have New Year Eve dish of many Chinese families in northern China.
"So good and tasteful, very delicious, we also have dumplings, but made of potatoes and meat, the tastes are quite different," said a girl student who was enjoying the dumplings mad by her and her classmates.
The Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Engineering Lyceum with 12 grades introduced Chinese interest-oriented classes in 2011. In 2014, it officially opened Confucius Classroom and became the first and the only Confucius Classroom established by Vilnius University Confucius Institute in Lithuania.
"We held this kind of celebrations and Chinese culture presentations every year on almost all big Chinese traditional festivals since 2011," said Regina Mikalausikiene, principal of the school.
Mikalausikiene told Xinhua that Chinese teaching has been one of the three major teaching directions in this school, which also have engineering, bioengineering and economics, entrepreneurship.
She is planning 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.
Agne of Grade 9, is one of the students who are interested in Chinese things. She said she joined the summer camp to China organized by Vilnius University Confucius Institute in Lithuania last July, and enjoyed it very much.
"It has been the best two weeks in my life being in such an amazing country as China. I've made new Chinese friends and got to know more about China and its culture. We visited one of the world miracles, the Great Wall, and the Summer Palace and many other fascinating places of China."
She said that she really hoped to get a chance to study in China to improve her Chinese skills and experience the Chinese people's daily life.
"As you have seen today, they are making a huge progress each year, more and more students want to grasp Chinese and get more knowledge about Chinese culture. Some of them have even chosen Sinology as their major," said Vilma Sniukstaite, Lithuanian Director of Vilnius University Confucius Institute, who was present at the event.
She told Xinhua that the school has had two graduates to choose Sinology as their major and she believed there would be much more in the future.