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Celebrating International Chinese Day through tea tasting experience

A day of celebrating Chinese Culture at Simon’s Restaurant at Groot Constantia. Picture: Matthew Petersen

A day of celebrating Chinese Culture at Simon’s Restaurant at Groot Constantia. Picture: Matthew Petersen

Published Apr 20, 2022

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Cape Town - The beautiful mountainous backdrop of Simon’s Restaurant in Groot Constantia provided the setting for the celebration of International Chinese Language Day, organised and hosted by the Confucius Institute at UWC.

The Confucius Institute is a collaborative programme with two Chinese universities, Zhejiang Normal University and Zhejiang Chinese Medical University.

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The goal is to establish academic exchange and co-operation and also promote the Chinese language and culture to the local community, which will strengthen the mutual understanding of China and South Africa to enhance the relationship between the two countries.

Ling Lin, language Instructor for the Confucius Institute, spoke about why the collaboration between the universities started.

“It started because the universities wanted more than an academic exchange and an exchange of students. We want students from China to come here to study and also students from South Africa to go to China,” she added.

Guests had an opportunity to taste two different varieties of Chinese teas, and to hear about the fermenting and brewing process as well as learn about the many health benefits that Chinese tea has.

A day of celebrating Chinese Culture at Simon’s Restaurant at Groot Constantia. Picture: Matthew Petersen

Liren Benjamin Zeng, the Chinese co-director of the Confucius Institute for Chinese Medicine, spoke about the significance of the day’s event, especially being held on a wine farm.

“The theme of our event is tea tasting. Tea is a very important part of Chinese culture in terms of production, consumption and appreciation. Also, we are hosting the tea tasting in a winery because there are a lot of similarities between tea making and wine making. Both require hard work, craftsmanship and dedication,” Zeng said.

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He said it was a celebration between two different cultures as the ultimate goal of the Confucius Institute was to let local communities know that they are a resource available regarding Chinese culture.

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