On the evening of 1st October 2013, the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival organised by Cardiff Confucius Institute was taking place in the Council Chamber, Main Building of Cardiff University. Nearly 80 attendees from the Welsh Government, National Centre for Languages in Wales, Cardiff County Council, Cardiff University, South Wales Chinese Association, and local primary and high schools were getting together to celebrate the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival and to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the sister-city relationship between Cardiff and Xiamen.
The Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor Derrick Morgan made a keynote speech. He said: ´We in Cardiff are proud of our twinning link with the city of Xiamen. As I´m sure many of you have known, in 1983 Cardiff became the first city in the UK to twin with Xiamen in the People´s Republic of China.´ ´I have been told that in China the Mid-Autumn Festival has traditionally been a choice occasion to celebrate marriages. Therefore, what an apt time of year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the marriage between the cities of Cardiff and Xiamen!´ ´Over the past 30 years the relationship between the two cities has been built on a varied mix of cultural, economic and education-related activities - including the Confucius Classrooms initiative which gives school children the opportunity to learn Mandarin as part of their curriculum. ´
The Executive Director, Prof Anthony Beresford said:´Welcome to everyone attending what I am sure will be a lively and enjoyable evening combining the performing arts, Chinese language and culture in a rich and engaging way. It is very appropriate that we are here in one of Cardiff´s most beautiful and prestigious buildings which combines the principles of learning, history and culture in such an inspirational setting. The activities planned for tonight for the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival enable us to step a little way outside our normal range of experience and to enjoy the full cultural richness that the Chinese Martial Arts, Music, Dance and Traditional Costumes can provide.´
The Academic Director of Cardiff Confucius Institute, Dr Xueyi Zhu, ´Mid-Autumn Festival consists of three fundamental meanings: gathering, thanksgiving and hoping. I would like borrow these three fundamental meanings to extend big thanks to all of you. Many thanks for coming to make this happy gathering come true. Many thanks for giving strong support and collaborations in our Mandarin Chinese teaching both in Cardiff University and schools in Wales. We also look forward to our multilevel and multifaceted cooperations in the future. ´
In the Cardiff Mid-Autumn Festival Reception, another highlight is the art performances enriched by the unique Chinese features. This year Cardiff Confucius Institute invited the performance troop from the Confucius Institute at London South Bank University to join the event. The wonderful Chinese traditional musical instrument Suona, Hulusi performances, excellent martial arts and graceful dance shows won the warm applause of the attendees. The attendees were fascinated by the Chinese musician and also very much enjoyed the Chinese Martial art and folk dance. They also actively participated in the martial arts and Tai Chi interactive activities. The performance was drawn to an end with the beautiful dance accompanied by Ocarina.
Finally the guests played their favourite Mid-Autumn Bo Bing game, which is a unique celebrating activity in Xiamen characteristics, and also has been a traditional programme at the Mid-autumn Festival of Cardiff Confucius Institute as the game well combining culture, folk custom and recreation.
Confucius Institute at Cardiff University