NEWS RELEASE: Teachers Day – a new celebration for New York?

On Friday, October 15, Pace University’s Conficius Institute will present a Chinese cultural festival at MS 345, the Castle Middle School on the Lower East Side of Manhattan at 220 Henry Street. The festival will be held after-school between 3:30 and 6:30 PM. About 60 middle school students are expected to attend.

Pace University Confucius Institute shows the way Friday, October 15 with transplant of traditional Chinese observance

Tree planting and cultural festival at Castle middle school on Lower East Side

NOTE: The Director of the Pace Confucius Institute, Weihua Niu, PhD, and school officials are available for interviews.

Photo available of this fall’s Teacher Day in China showing schoolchildren displaying collages and greeting cards that say “I love you, teacher.”

NEW YORK, NY, October 8, 2010 – In China, a special day each fall is devoted to celebrating teachers.

Why not do the same thing in New York?

That idea is being put forward by the Confucius Institute at Pace University, which teaches Chinese language and culture to students, businesspeople, and ordinary citizens.

As a demonstration, on Friday, October 15, the Institute will present a Chinese cultural festival at MS 345, the Castle Middle School on the Lower East Side of Manhattan at 220 Henry Street. The festival will be held after-school between 3:30 and 6:30 PM. About 60 middle-school students are expected to attend.

The theme of the festival will be honoring teachers, as they are honored in China at this time of year when Teachers’ Day is celebrated.

Media admission by press pass.

Nectarine tree and dumplings

Teachers’ Day falls around the traditional birthday of Confucius, the great sage and teacher.

He once said that “If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.” To symbolize the growth that teachers bring to their students’ lives, a nectarine tree will be planted in the courtyard of the school.

After the tree planting, the students will participate in two interactive workshops to learn Kung Fu techniques and philosophy and will view a short video on Chinese traditions. They will then paint murals to reflect on what they learned.

After the workshops, the students will be treated to a traditional Chinese buffet dinner of dumplings, stir-fried vegetables, and desserts. The festival will conclude with a version of the Chinese opera “The Monkey King,” performed by the acclaimed theatre troupe Chinese Theatre Works.

“The dumplings and Chinese food are optional, and so are the workshops and other details,” said Weihua Niu, PhD, the director of the Pace Confucius Institute. “We just think a ceremony involving students in honoring teachers is an idea that makes universal sense.”

She added that the Pace Confucius Institute will explore ways of encouraging the idea further next year.

About the Pace Confucius Institute

The Pace Confucius Institute, founded in 2009, is the only Confucius institute in the New York metropolitan area associated with a University.

This fall it is inaugurating Chinese language classes for students and professional groups, starting with an early-morning, one-month set of hour-long classes on 50 of the most useful phrases for business travel in China, and a month long set of one-hour lunchtime classes in basic conversation.

The Institute also is offering custom courses conducted at businesses and institutions. One witty consumer of New York City’s ubiquitous Chinese “take out” food has called these Chinese “take-in.”

The Institute additionally works to encourage interdisciplinary scholarship on China through collaborative research, conferences, and public lectures; develop innovative teaching and learning techniques and institutional exchanges; integrate study of China into Pace University’s liberal arts and professional curricula; and sponsor seminars for professionals in business, education, film, and theater.

Its budget is contributed in equal shares by Pace, the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), and the Phoenix Publishing and Media Group, one of China’s largest media conglomerates. PPMG has sent executives to Pace’s graduate publishing program since 2007.

About Pace University

For 103 years, Pace University has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

Visit Pace on the web: Pace.edu | Facebook | Twitter | Flickr | YouTube. Follow Pace students on Twitter:  NYC | PLV

Contacts

Christopher Cory, media relations, Pace University

212-346-1117, cell 917-608-8164, ccory@pace.edu

Weihua Niu, PhD, Director, Pace University Confucius Institute

212-346-1815, wniu@pace.edu

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