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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI to celebrate opening of Confucius Institute, Oct. 25

Media Contact:

Oct. 23, 2007


WHO: University of Rhode Island President Robert L. Carothers and other University officials; Deputy Consul General Xiaofei, Chinese Consulate in New York City; Jennifer Wood, representing the office of Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts; directors of Confucius Institutes; and Ningbo Yue Opera troupe musicians from China. Yan Ma, director of the Confucius Institute at URI and Jia Min Ding, director of the Office of International Relations at Zhejiang University and the associate director of the Confucius Institute at URI.

WHAT: Opening ceremonies of the Confucius Institute at URI

WHEN: Thursday, October 25, 2007
11 a.m. to noon Invitation Only: Galanti Lounge, URI Library, 3rd floor, 15 Lippitt Rd., Kingston. Opening remarks. • The URI Library will receive 5,000 books, DVDs, other library sources donated by the Chinese Language Council International • the Ningbo Performing Arts Academy will donate traditional musical instruments, Yue Opera costumes, and a complete collection of Yue Opera resources –recordings, documents, and photographs • A musical procession will lead participants to an unveiling of a Confucius Institute plaque in the new Confucius Institute Hall on the first floor of the library. (This is open to members of the media.)

2:30 p.m.: Free and open to the public: Galanti Lounge. Troupe musicians of the Ningbo Yue Opera will perform and explain traditional music using such instruments as the Erhu, a Chinese fiddle; Dizi, a Chinese flute; Pipa, a plucked string instrument with a fretted fingerboard; a Guzheng, Ancient Zheng sometimes called “the oriental piano;” the Hulusi, a reed pipe instrument; and the Suona, a horn, especially popular at weddings.

NOTE: In honor of the Confucius Institute opening China’s dazzling Ningbo Yue Opera will perform for the first time in the United States. The troupe will perform Butterfly Lovers at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. For more information, click http://www.uri.edu/news/releases/?id=4133.

WHY: URI’s Confucius Institute creates formal ties between the University and China’s Zhejiang University to strengthen and promote educational programs and exchanges, broadening global opportunities for students, faculty, and the larger community. The Institute has offices on the Kingston and Feinstein Providence Campuses to oversee Chinese language and cultural programs. Last year, the Chinese Language Council International financed a Chinese language instructor, Wen Xiong, who taught 75 students taking beginning or intermediate Mandarin. This summer the office has agreed to fund two more language instructors, support the opera, and other cultural projects. This fall, 100 URI students are enrolled in Chinese languages classes.

For more information, contact Jan Wenzel, URI Department of Communications & Marketing,
401-874-2116