Due to the foundation of Confucius Institute at the University of Szeged, in the last five years, many thousands of people from the Southern region of Hungary had the chance to get familiar with the oldest civilizations to have ever existed in the world which is Chinese language and culture. Owing to the jubilee, the Institute held a grand ceremony where guests had the pleasure to enjoy several programs and gala performances.
On 17 October 2017, the 5th Year Anniversary celebration, which took place in Szeged’s Small Theater, illustrated the dynamic development of SZTE Confucius Institute as many people were interested in the rich and colorful acrobatic show representing Chinese culture.
How to continue…
After a year of negotiations, SZTE Confucius Institute, interpreting Chinese culture, as one of the youngest unit of the University of Szeged was the second to be founded in Hungary.
– Everything had started in the autumn of 2012 when 5 Chinese language teachers begun to teach Chinese language in a classroom situated in the Rector’s Office. However, nowadays the number of teachers has increased to 12. Due to their hard and efficient work, recently more than 900 students study Chinese language – said Prof. Dr. Gábor Szabó, Rector of the University of Szeged. He also added that the newest institute of the University became a crucial and vivid part of Szeged and its region.
It is important to mention that the former Chinese Ambassador, dr. Ujhelyi István, former representative of Szeged at the Hungarian Parliament, as well as the Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) had a significant role in the foundation of Confucius Institute at University of Szeged.
– Taking everything into account, SZTE Confucius Institute works successfully which is also due to the role of our Chinese partner institute. Therefore I would rather change the jubilee logo into such one which would represent both SZTE and SISU in Szeged – said Prof. dr. Gábor Szabó who highlighted the importance of cooperation. The Rector also mentioned: he had further negotiations with the four-member delegation representing the Shanghai International Studies University, and together with the Vice-Rector of SISU commonly agreed to lengthen their current cooperation for another five years. – Happy Birthday, Confucius Institute!
Bridge of cooperation
The University of Szeged is not only well-known in Hungary, but also well-acknowledged all around the world. Shanghai International Studies University is a public higher education institution which has strong and tight links. Confucius Institute at the University of Szeged, functioning as a bridge between two nations, was established by means of cooperation between SZTE and SISU as well as with the support of Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) in October 2012 which marked the 63rd anniversary of Chinese-Hungarian diplomatic relations. – said SISU’s Vice-Rector in his welcome speech. Mrs. Wang Jing believes that the already existing good relations between Shanghai and Szeged, and also between China and Hungary is due to the Institute’s success.
By conducting continuous improvement in education, the number of Chinese language teachers has increased in the past years. They have taken part in several local events and also organized numerous Chinese cultural activities for local guests.
– In October 2016, Shanghai International Studies University opened the Department of Hungarian Language and Studies which further promotes cooperation between students and teachers, too – said the Vice-Rector of SISU. Wang Jing also gave a special thanks to those partners and colleagues who played a major role and contributed to the development of „One belt, one road” political initiative.
‘Let’s lit a candle!’
dr. István Ujhelyi, Founding President of SZTE Confucius Institute, had undertaken the task to act as a mediator between Chinese and Hungarian people.
– We must learn from each other – emphasizing the changes of Hungary’s perception about the 5000 years old Chinese culture. He quoted one sayings of Confucius: We’d rather lit a candle than fear of darkness!
All those 300 guests, all interested in Chinese language and culture in the Small Theater were called as „Big Family” by the politician who is proud of the establishment and also about the substantial progress made by the Institute. He addressed a special thanks to all the colleagues, including the former director Lívia Szentmártoni who works as a cultural diplomat at the General Consulate of Shanghai, and also to Richárd Mohr, excellent sinologist and current director of Confucius Institute.
On the occasion of the 5th anniversary, directors and supporting teachers of 22 partner schools, and also another 23 person helping the work of the Institute were awarded with a certificate and a memorial placket for all the support and hard work they did for SZTE Confucius Institute. Among the University leaders were the Rector, Prof. dr. Krisztina Karsai Vice-Rector and Prof. dr. Katalin Nagy Vice-Rector, the delegation of SISU and dr. István Ujhelyi Founding President of SZTE CI.
Wang Jing, Vice-Rector at SISU as well as Wang Shangzhong, Vice-Rector at Beijing Sport University gave and received some presents at the event.
Gifts of SZTE Confucius Institute
The Gala, celebrating the birthday of Confucius Institute, started with the dance of the little swans. One of the teachers with Kazakh minority background dressed up in a traditional folk costume which resembled a swan as it is the most famous totem figure representing her people.
The ’Suhancok’ dance group, which consists of five university students, drifting in a dreadful paste, introduced an amazing dance performance which turned out to be a great success.
Chinese dancers also invoked the ancient moves of hunting which was followed by a Chinese fan dance introduced by four women and a man. Then four graceful women resembled the fall of flower petals. Besides dance style, the vivid and beautiful colors of the costumes hold the audience spellbound.
Even the soldiers of the Chinese Emperor had aroused in Szeged’s Small Theater. Surprisingly the soldiers’ calligraphy brush, fan and long dress could turn into a weapon.
A young Chinese master taught some kung-fu movements to nine very brave volunteers – among 3 boys, 3 women and 3 youngsters. The Beijing team, consisting of seven men and only one woman, introduced an excellent and very eye-catching kung-fu performance on stage
At the birthday celebration, the audience had the great opportunity to experience this world class performance introduced by the 19 students representing Beijing Sports University.
SZTEinfo – Ilona Újszászi