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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Festival aims to teach community about Chinese culture and health


The UA’s Confucius Institute will host the Chinese Culture Festival, beginning this Saturday, Sept. 22 with Chinese Health Day at the DeMeester Performance Center in Reid Park.

Cynthia Thomson,the director for the Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion, said that the idea behind the festival is to teach members of the community about Chinese culture while also informing them about health.

The UA’s Confucius Insitute aims to use the festival to enhance people’s understanding and appreciation of Chinese language and cultural heritage, added Zhao Chen, the institute’s co-director and public health professor.

“The festival is really developed to meet our people’s needs,” Chen said. “The community is extremely interested in how to be healthy and how the Eastern and Western medicines connect. Our aim is to bring in the Eastern culture and language and get people more involved with healthy lifestyle.”

On Saturday, 14 booths will offer a range of information on Chinese culture, alongside interactive events for both adults and children. With free admission to the event, it is also an opportunity to get free admission to the Reid Park Zoo, Chen said.

The weeklong event aims to advance friendly and productive relations between the U.S. and China.

“It is important to me to be a part of the Confucius Institute because it gives me the chance to become a part of an organization that seeks to minimize the gap between two different cultures,” said Luchie Javelosa, a marketing senior and intern at the institute.

“It is also exciting to be apart of a growing institute and helping them achieve their goals and mission while learning all about the Chinese culture.”

Additionally, there will be performances by martial artists and tai chi masters Junmin Zhao and Junjie Feng from Shaolin, China, who performed in the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Those performances will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday in the Student Union Memorial Center Grand Ballroom.

Public health ambassadors will be conducting health screenings and visitors can pick up a free copy of the “Healthy Chinese Cookbook,” a collection of recipes by Tucson’s Chinese community.

“I have always been fascinated and intrigued by different cultures and traditions,” Javelosa said. “Being a Filipina, there is a lot of Chinese influence in my culture. It is great to learn more about where these influences originated from and seeing how these culture adaptations have been modified over time.”

The festival will end with a concert on Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. in the UA Crowder Hall, where visitors can experience traditional Chinese music, Chinese folk songs and choral masterworks by the UA School of Music and the Tucson Sino Choir.

“With over 800 Chinese students at UA from China, we have a very strong connection with China as far as an academic exchange,” Chen said. “Come enjoy the culture and take home a healthy message.”

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