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Eclectic programs offer taste of Chinese culture

March 25, 2014

Photo of various cups of tea with dried tea leaf samplings on the side

One of the lectures features salon-style discussions of Chinese folk customs, including tea tastings.

Chinese tea tastings, paper-cutting workshops, tai chi classes and lectures on Chinese customs will be among the savory offerings of the Confucius Institute at UC Davis this spring.

Established in 2012, the institute is the first of hundreds of Confucius Institutes around the world to focus on promoting understanding of Chinese food and beverage culture.

All of the following events are open to the public, and most are free.

Wisdom of Balance in Diet and Cuisine

Thursday, March 27 — The first of the Yin and Yang Lecture Series will focus on this Chinese concept of balance between complementary forces and its relationship to a modern healthy diet. Presenting the lecture will be Jianqiao Dong, deputy director of the institute and professor with the School of Foreign Studies at Jiangnan University. Other lectures in the series will be added later. Registration is requested. 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sensory Theater, Robert Mondavi Institute.

Tea and Conversation

Wednesdays, April 2 to June 11 — This lecture series will feature salon-style discussions of Chinese folk customs, the Chinese family and Chinese community. Topics include how Chinese names are given and their meanings, the customs and taboos of eating, Chinese games, and wedding and marriage customs. Institute instructors will facilitate the discussions. Registration is required. 12:05 p.m. to 12:55 p.m., 3013 Wickson Hall.

Tai Chi

Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 8 to June 10 — The reported benefits of this series of choreographed, slow, fluid and continuous movements include physical strength and vitality, balance and coordination, reduced pain and stiffness, reduced stress and enhanced sleep. Leading classes will be Janny Wu, who was trained in China and has taught in the Sacramento area since 2007. Registration is required, and the cost is $150 for the series. 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., outdoors on the Davis campus.

Chinese Paper Cutting

April 11 and more — Hands-on workshops will bring to life the history, culture and folk tradition of paper cutting in China. Introductory sessions will be offered in April, May and June, but specific dates have not yet been set. Chinese characters, a more advanced workshop, will be offered on April 11 and a May date yet to be determined. Registration is requested. 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., 1017 Wickson Hall. Two workshops on zodiac animals will be scheduled in May and June.

Tea and Beverage Workshops

April 14, May 5, June 9 — Through this series of tea tastings and lectures, participants will tour the areas where China’s best tea leaves are produced, visit four kinds of tea houses and trace the voyage of tea around the world. Dan (Danna) Cao, an institute instructor, will lead the workshops. Registration is requested. Noon to 1 p.m., Sensory Theater, Robert Mondavi Institute.

For more information

More information about institute events and registration is available at http://confucius.ucdavis.edu/.

Some of the institute events will take place during the Fix 50 construction project in Sacramento. Learn how regional traffic may be affected at http://Fix50.com.

About the Confucius Institute at UC Davis

The institute combines signature strengths of UC Davis and China’s Jiangnan University as world leaders in food and beverage science and technology to promote understanding of Chinese food and beverage culture. Since 2004, Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters, affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education, has partnered with universities and other organizations to establish hundreds of institutes to promote Chinese language and cultural teaching resources and services worldwide.

About UC Davis

UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.

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