‘Love for China’ hits SKyPAC stage

Stephanie Jessie

Influences of China will reverberate throughout Bowling Green this weekend, starting with the “Love for China” show at SKyPAC on Friday.

WKU’s Confucius Institute paired up with the North China Electric Power University to bring the Troupe Performance Tour to Bowling Green, making this performance the first event of this size the institute has organized.

“North China Electric Power University is our sister partner in China, so all of our summer programs, they host us and help us manage that piece of it,” Terrill Martin, managing director of the Confucius Institute for WKU, said.

Previous stops on the tour have included Purdue University, Valparaiso University and the city of Indianapolis.

Bowling Green’s performance will take place on the 10-year anniversary of the Confucius Institute. Since 2004, their mission has been to promote an “understanding of Chinese language and culture through children’s programming, training courses, cultural workshops and events,” according to their website. 

WKU has been a part of the organization since 2010.

“Love for China” showcases the multiple artistic mediums of Chinese culture. One dance, “Flowers Blooming,” compares little girls to fairies coming to the earth. Another act, “Chinese Tea,” teaches the traditional repertoire of Chinese tea through song. “Chinese Kung Fu” shows the history of one of the culture’s traditional sports.

Betty Yu, associate director of the WKU Confucius Institute, said “Love for China” is a great introduction to the Chinese culture. 

“The variety act will open students’ eyes that there are a lot of similarities in the arts,” she said. 

Community members can also see the Confucius Institute highlighted at the International Festival, this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Circus Square Park.

The organization will have 14 booths set up, exposing the Chinese culture to the community by teaching the language and offering craft booths. At these booths, participants can paint with watercolor on fans and handkerchiefs, and learn origami, zodiacs and how to use chopsticks. 

WKU Chinese majors, Chinese Flagship students and the WKU Chinese Music Club helped to organize the institute’s involvement in the festival.

The new “Chinese Culture Experience” Mobile Unit will also make an appearance at the festival. The mobile unit includes several interactive stations that allow visitors to learn about the institute from the perspective of the 400 other branches in the world.

“Doing things like that really help us engage the community and help us make a presence in the community,” Martin said.

This unit is currently being used at different schools throughout the state to help students learn more about the Chinese culture. 

Currently, WKU’s Confucius Institute has helped place 40 Hanban Chinese teachers in schools in several counties, including Warren, Simpson, Meade and Hardin counties in Kentucky and Williamson county in Tennessee.

These teachers will be attending the “Love for China” show, the International Festival and the “Understanding China” Symposium, a meeting at Gary Ransdell Hall on Friday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The meeting will bring together the president of North China Electric Power University, the department head of agriculture at WKU, President Gary Ransdell and local superintendents. They will discuss the production and consumption of energy in China, the Chinese power industry’s development, China’s current agricultural landscape and effective leadership development.

The meeting is free to attend. Tickets for the International Festival are $4 for adults and free for children age 12 and under.

The “Love for China” event will take place Friday at 6:00 p.m. at SKyPAC. Students that wish to attend can pick up complimentary tickets at Helm Library, Room 109, or in the lobby of SKyPAC from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. before the show begins.