USP Lautoka Campus

USP Lautoka Campus

USP Lautoka Celebrates Dragon Boat Festival - Confucius Institute Graduation Ceremony

Campus Director, Dr. Pramila Devi with Chinese Class Tutor and students

The Confucius Institute at the University of the South Pacific (CI@USP) Lautoka Teaching Point held its 9th Chinese Class Graduation Ceremony at the Lautoka Campus on Monday, 11th June.  A total of 30 students graduated, out of which 23 attended the ceremony.

While opening the ceremony, USP Lautoka Campus Director, Dr. Pramila Devi congratulated the graduates and the CI@USP Lautoka Teaching Point on their achievements over the semester, particularly those who attained academic excellence in the Chinese elective courses.  Dr. Devi said it was also pleasing to see the increasing number of interest shown in the Chinese social courses as reflected in the student roll over the semesters.

There was also a PowerPoint presentation on CI@USP Lautoka’s achievements and important announcements by CI@USP Lautoka Lecturer, Jie Huang who commended CI and its students in the first semester of 2018 on their achievements.  Huang revealed that CI@USP Lautoka was currently developing LL281-Chinese II Online Course and began teaching Chinese as a second language course for grades 5 to 7 in the International School in Nadi.  He said the institute also began the Chinese Taiji class last month (May) which attracted much interest and appreciation from students. Huang further revealed that the CI@USP also completed translating the Fiji Election Information Booklet into Chinese for the first time ever.

@USP Lautoka also celebrated the popular Chinese Dragon Boat Festival with the graduating students and the staff.  The CI staff shared the legend and the historic facts behind the festival and how it was celebrated by the Chinese folks and invited everyone to taste the traditional Chinese festive food Zongzi, which is glutinous rice stuffed with a variety of fillings made into the pyramid-shape and covered by reed or bamboo leaves.

Huang said two fun activities in particular received much applause from students at the graduation ceremony.  The first one was the Chopsticks Competition in which the contestants were required to use chopsticks to pick red beans, one of the fillings of Zongzi, from one plate and put them into another.  The winners received fragrant sachets and CI t-shirts.  The other activity was an oral quiz session comprising of 24 challenging questions related to Chinese culture and language.  The student who answered the most questions correctly received a CI T-shirt.

“Many students expressed their excitement about the activities, which gave them an interesting chance to broaden their knowledge of China,” said Huang.

The graduates were presented certificates of completion and gifts were also awarded to students who performed extraordinarily well in the class and scored over 90 in their final exams.
Student representative, Rochelle Rebello, in a brief speech, shared about her husband’s and her learning experience as Chinese social course students.  As a new immigrant to Fiji, she said she felt blessed to have learned Chinese language and culture, which also helped her make many new local friends from the class.

Winner of the 2017 Chinese Bridge Competition (Fiji Preliminary), Diana Botei, who was accepted by Beijing Language and Culture University recently, also shared her experience in learning Chinese and her trip to China.  “Learning Chinese has given me great opportunities.  It has enabled me to go to China, experience a unique culture, taste the best food and most importantly it has given me the ambition to further my studies,” said Botei.

Botei, who is a student at USP Lautoka, studying International Business Marketing and Tourism Management as her majors, encouraged the students to continue working hard and make best of the opportunity to learn Chinese offered through CI@USP.

Silimone Katia, a 54year old Nadi resident who completed his Intermediate level in social culture and language course said he thoroughly enjoyed his learning at the CI@USP Lautoka.

The Tourist Transport employee plans to pursue further studies in Chinese for a year as a private student when he retires in 2019, so he can become more proficient in the Chinese language.  Katia who is from the Tourism Industry, said the demand for Chinese language was fast growing and studying with CI@ USP Lautoka was a great stepping stone for him to get into the Chinese market. He said he plans to invest his retirement money into his studies in China, after which he intends to start his own business.

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