First Chinese Evening great success

Jingyi and son
Jiaqi explaining xiangqi
Chinese evening edition 1

On Friday April 19, the first edition of the Chinese Evening took place. It was very well attended with more than 25 participants, enough to nicely fill Cafe Atlantis (where the evening took place) without overcrowding. The ratio Mandarin learners / Mandarin speakers was about 2 to 1, I think, which made for a nice mix. Jiaqi, one of the representatives of the Groningen Confucius Institute (GCI), gave a short presentation on Xiang Qi (Chinese Chess), which functioned as the cultural piece of the evening. After that, people had a great time chatting to each other, in Chinese, English, or a mixture of the two. The atmosphere was great, nice and busy, with people chatting not only about Chinese, but also about travelling in China, experiences in the Netherlands, or any other topic that caught their fancy.

I personally had a great time, meeting a lot of new people - and it's always nice to meet and chat with people who have the same interests and hobby as yourself. Some of the other Mandarin learners were currently doing a course at the GCI, but others were simply interested, or had studied Chinese longer ago, or wanted to start studying. As for the Mandarin speakers, some were representatives of the GCI, some were acquintances of mine, and some simply came out of curiosity and interest, like one high school exchange student from Taiwan who was visiting the Netherlands - who spoke Dutch amazingly well for someone who had only been here for a few months, putting us Mandarin learners to shame! :-) And some were very young - but undoubtedly still spoke better Chinese than most of us. :-)

All in all, it was a great success, everyone had a good time and the owner of Atlantis was happy to have us back any time. We will continue the Chinese Evenings, every third or fourth Friday of the month. Details will appear on the GCI website agenda a little while before each edition, so check there for the latest news. We hope the next editions will be as successful and as much fun as this one was!