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Leeds welcomes Mandarin Excellence Programme Northern Hub students

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Students from Northern schools spent two days at the University of Leeds for a Chinese Culture Day run by the East Asian Studies Department (EAST) with support from the Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds (BCI).

On 24 and 25 April, 214 students from seven Secondary Schools in the UK enjoyed two full days of activities, including three workshops offered by the BCI: Chinese painting, Kungfu fan and an introduction to Hanfu.

This event took place just days after UN Chinese Language Day, which is celebrated globally on 20 April.

In the Kungfu Fan class students had a go at Chinese martial arts with fans, a brand new experience to everyone. A student from Macmillan Academy said, “I would like to have a fan like this!”

The BCI provided a variety of traditional Hanfu costumes and described the development of traditional Chinese clothing. Several students also dressed up in the traditional Chinese costumes, giving them a taste of life in ancient China.

In the Chinese painting workshop students painted Panda and bamboo with ink and brushes, learning how to hold the brush correctly to make the slow and precise brushstrokes. The best painters were excited to receive adorable panda dolls in recognition of their efforts.

This Northern Hub event aimed to expand the opportunities available to MEP schools in this region, as the majority of participating schools are still based in London and the South of England. Discovering the charm of Mandarin and Chinese culture here at the University of Leeds, home of one of the oldest Mandarin departments in the country, showed them just what could be possible if they continue learning Mandarin in the future

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