Chinese Cultural Camp in Backyard Aotearoa
From Overseas Immersion to Domestic Experience
At the end of 2020, Confucius Institute in Auckland, in partnership with the North Asia CAPE, offered a Chinese Cultural Camp to 20 gifted New Zealand secondary school students studying Mandarin.
Due to the border restrictions, we decided to change our annual Chinese Cultural Camp into a domestic one held in the backyard of Aotearoa New Zealand. Running from Sunday 6 to Friday 11 December, the students engaged in an intensive week of Mandarin lessons, fun cultural activities such as dumpling making, lectures, and career-focused visits to organisations and businesses.
A range of speakers presented to the students on New Zealand’s relationship with China and their personal journeys studying Mandarin, including the New Zealand China Council’s Rachel Maidment, NZTE’s Jane Liu, David Mahon of Mahon China, and North Asia CAPE’s Paul Clark and Charlie Gao.
The students also visited several businesses, including New Zealand New Milk in Mangere and Zealong Tea Estate in Hamilton.
A special experience for New Zealand students
A group of New Zealand secondary students shared their special memory of the China Culture Camp 2020 with culture performances, dances, group speeches and fun games on Friday.
The China Culture Camp 2020 was organised by the Confucius Institute (CI) in Auckland in partnership with the North Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence, the University of Auckland.
The annual China Study Camp organised by CI usually saw New Zealand students travelling to China for a two-week study and exchange experience.
However, this year’s China Study Camp was replaced by a domestic Chinese Cultural Camp to award outstanding secondary students with a Chinese language and culture immersion experience to practice what they have learned and to improve their Chinese communication skills.
The students spent a week having fun Chinese class, visiting businesses in the New Zealand China bilateral trade and learning Chinese culture.
Year 11 student Te Auraki Fraser from Fairfield College in Hamilton performed Chinese culture dance at the final sharing on Friday.
Having learned Chinese for two years, he found that he really likes the language. Although it’s a pity that he was not able to go to China this year, Fraser wished to go to China to study one day.
“I started studying Chinese because I have a passion for languages, ever since I was young I have tried to learn many different kinds. I was given the opportunity to start studying Chinese and I committed to it. For the future I wish to go to university to study Chinese and perhaps be given the opportunity to go to China and study overseas,” he said.
Nora Yao, director of the Confucius Institute in Auckland, the University of Auckland, was pleased to watch the students’ performances and sharing.
“It was the first year we do the China Camp domestically in New Zealand. We wanted to give a special memory to the students even though they cannot personally visit China. So our camp program this year focused on how important the Chinese language is to our bilateral relations and business and our future generation,” said Yao.
Around 20 secondary students whose native language is not Chinese from Auckland, Waikato, Northland regions schools attended the week-long China Culture Camp 2020.
Source: Xinhua News