Calligraphy master at Chinese Evening

Prof Li and Gineke
Cheers with jenever

This week, we had a great Chinese Evening. Prof Li Junming, a visiting professor from the Communications University of China in Beijing, joined our evening to show some of his work - and let us try it ourselves, too! The professor did not speak English, so all of us who wanted to chat with him had to pull out our best Chinese - though a teacher from the Confucius Institute, Haocui, translated where necessary during the professor's demonstration, so that everyone could follow the presentation, regardless of Chinese proficiency level. Some photos of the event can be found here.

Calligraphy is a beautiful art, and especially meaningful in Chinese culture, where writing, painting and poetry become interwoven. Prof Li showed us some examples of this phenomenon at the end of the lecture, displaying Chinese-style paintings created with brush and ink, and explaining how the same strokes used to write characters can be used to depict the flowing lines in animals, bamboo leaves and even lobsters.

After the wonderful presentation, we had a great evening chatting in Chinese. A few of the more advanced students and myself even got the professor to try 'jenever' (a Dutch drink with a high alcohol percentage), which he did not like too much (too sour for his taste) but found very interesting to try. We also explained how the Frisians are a Dutch minority people (少数民族), snacked on some brie and Groningen dry sausage (I did not dare ask our guest how he liked the brie, but my guess is not at al :-). All in all, it was a great night, with lots of people attending, everyone having fun and speaking Chinese. That's what we want the Chinese Evening to be! Let's hope everyone will be back next month!

The next Chinese Evening will be on Friday 15 Nov at Cafe Atlantis. Theme: Weiqi (The game of Go)

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