September 22 – 30, 2012 the Confucius Institute at the UA presented its first Chinese Culture Festival. The week was planned to inform on Chinese medicine, martial arts, and Tai Chi to poetry, movies and music.
“It is well known that people around the world are interested in the long history, extraordinary culture and recent economic advancement in China," said Zhao Chen, co-director of the Confucius Institute.
"More than 40 million people outside of China currently study Chinese," Chen said. "The rise of Chinese language instruction in American schools has been a phenomenon even in places that don’t have a significant Chinese population."
The UA institute was established in 2008 and is among about 400 such organizations across the globe. The institute provides comprehensive training to teachers of Chinese language and culture and also promotes health and wellness via a focus on Chinese medicine, martial arts, music and performance.
“The Confucius Institute is committed to serving the Tucson community’s interest in learning about Chinese language and culture,” Chen said. “The festival programs are specifically designed for health promotion, cultural enrichment and entertainment for all ages.”
Chen hopes the festival was, and will continue to be, a bridge between Chinese and American culture. The CIUA worked closely with other university and community organizations to deliver a broad spectrum of events to enhance the Chinese cultural experience.
The Sept. 22-30 festival was held jointly on campus and other locations in Tucson. The festival was an example of the institute's mission to enhance people’s understanding and appreciation of Chinese language and cultural heritage
Among the week's sponsors are the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, the UA Poetry Center, the College of Humanities, the School of Music, the College of Fine Arts, the Tucson Chinese Association, Tucson Sino Choir and the Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion.