UJ Confucius Institute celebrates Chinese culture
The University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute (UJCI) hosted a “Chinese Culture and Tea Day” at noon on September 16 2022 to celebrate the forthcoming “Heritage Day.” Nearly 100 guests from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and various nearby communities attended the event.
The theme of the event was “Tea”, the Director of UJCI, Professor Li Baosheng, and teacher Ms Qin Yue presented an overview to tea culture and provided a demonstration of the tea ceremony.
The presentations by Prof Li Baosheng and Ms Qin Yue focused primarily on Shen Nong’s discovery of tea, modern Chinese tea tasting preferences, the classification of tea, drinking styles, and health benefits. This in turn inspired the audience to sample the various tea flavors that were available on the day.
The guests were excited to take photos, videos, taste tea and ask questions about the rich history of tea. Palesa, dressed in traditional South African attire, was enthralled by the Chinese tea ceremonial presentation. She exclaimed with excitement that although she had heard that China had a wide variety of teas in the past, she had never anticipated that there were as many legends around it.
The audience enthusiastically applauded the teachers Ms Qin Yue and Mr Elvis Maile, students Simnikiwe Sangoni, Ofentse Emmanuel Shibambo, and Tafadzwa Precious Mabate for their rich display of long fist, Taijiquan, swords, sticks, and traditional Chinese dance.
China has a magnificent civilization with 5000 years of history. According to Prof David Monyae, the Director of the Centre for Africa-China Studies (CACS) at UJ, Africa too has a lengthy history and an indelible civilization. Due to the media monopoly of the US and Europe in the past, China and Africa frequently had to learn about one other through these nations’ media, which frequently stoked good relations between Chinese and African people with incorrect claims.
Today, the people of China and Africa have greater prospects for direct communication, developing friendship, and cultural exchange, thanks to the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative.
The Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives and Administration at UJ, Ms. Fhumulani Maanda, expressed her desire for this day to become a yearly occurrence at the University. Ms. Fhumulani Maanda expressed that although she had always drank a cup of Chinese black tea for breakfast, it was only today that she discovered the 6,000-year history of tea in China and the variations in consumption and advantages of the many types of tea.
The myth of Shen Nong’s discovery of tea, the practice of “Foam tea” in the Tang and Song dynasties, and the background surrounding its transfer to Japan all captivated her. In her words, “When you feel cold, a cup of tea can bring you warmth; when you feel hot, a cup of tea can bring you coolness; when you are too excited, a cup of tea can help you calm down; when you feel tired, a cup of tea can help you refresh.”