Chinese connections

Dal hosts China Day on October 25

- October 21, 2016

From left: Shao-Pin Luo, Jacob Hubner and Shannon Brownlee set to celebrate China Day. (Matt Reeder photo)
From left: Shao-Pin Luo, Jacob Hubner and Shannon Brownlee set to celebrate China Day. (Matt Reeder photo)

Few countries share as strong a relationship with Dalhousie as China. Nearly half of Dal’s international student population comes from the country and the university has dozens of international partnership agreements there.

Next Tuesday, the university will celebrate these connections with China Day — a series of events that will inform and entertain students, staff and faculty alike with everything from information sessions to traditional cultural demonstrations and performances.

“It’s really to highlight China, what China has to offer, and China’s presence on campus through students and faculty,” says Alain Boutet, executive director of Dal’s Office of International Relations.  “We have many significant partnerships and collaborations with Chinese institutions.”

Long-standing partnerships

Dr. Boutet says China Day will be a chance to showcase the various types of partnerships, which include student-exchange programs, research projects and joint degree programs, to name a few. The events will also link in with Chinese connections at other local universities.

The day’s events will kick off at 1:30 p.m. with a session led by Xinyu Yang, minister counsellor of education with the Chinese embassy in Ottawa, on funding opportunities for students and faculty to study and research in China. That will be followed by a separate session on some of the programs and services offered by the Confucius Institute at Saint Mary’s University.

Around mid-afternoon, University of King’s College professor Dr. Simon Kow will be on hand to launch his new book, China in Early Enlightenment Political Thought. A panel discussion at 4:30 p.m. will explore some of the different research collaborations happening between Dal and Chinese institutions.

Full schedule: China Day

“There are just wonderful projects here,” says Shao-Pin Luo, coordinator of Dal’s Chinese Studies program and one of the event’s organizers. Dr. Luo said Dal has significant research projects in oceanography, management, economics and agriculture, among other areas.

Celebrating Chinese Studies at Dal

Next week’s event is also a chance to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Chinese Studies program. In 2013, the university turned it into a minor, with three levels of language classes as well as a range of courses in Chinese literature and culture, Asian thought and religion, cinema, pop culture, and economics. On this occasion, the first scholarship in the program will be awarded to Jacob Hubner , a biology student with a minor in Chinese Studies.

Cultural components of the day’s events include a calligraphy demonstration, live traditional Chinese music and dance performance by the Nova Scotia Chinese Culture and Art Club, and a film screening of short animated films about Chinese culture and history with Dal Film Studies professor Shannon Brownlee.

Dr. Luo says Dr. Brownlee embodies everything China Day is looking to promote: she took Chinese language classes in the Chinese Studies program so she could teach Asian cinema and also received a Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program scholarship  to go do research in China last summer. The films she’ll be showing are ones she discovered at a visit to a film studio during the trip.

“This is an example of how teaching, research and student involvement can come together,” says Dr. Luo.


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