On the 25th April 2015, the very first open day of the Confucius Institute of Makerere University was helding at the outdoor lawns on campus. Students of the Confucius Institute were performing different kinds of Chinese cultures here, they were singing Chinese songs together, dancing in Chinese style together, there were also master of Chinese martial arts teaching people Wushu on stage.
Performances have finished after about an hour, students and teachers even came above the stage and demonstrate how to do Chinese calligraphy, martial arts and the art of tea, these demonstrations have attracted loads of people to watch and join. They even made Chinese dumpling together, they have shared a very good time! It seems like many people were interested in Chinese martial arts, they have come forwards and kept asking about the Wushu courses after the performance.
Local university students have high interest in Chinese culture as well. Some of them said that they are interested in Chinese calligraphy, and planning to learn Chinese at the Confucius Institute during the holiday. They believed that as China is getting stronger, she will become the biggest developing partner of Africa, and this is why they would like to know more about China, which also motivated them to learn Chinese. Local students also think that the open day was meaningful, they hope that the Confucius Institute can also set up events in African junior schools, letting more Ugandan young people to come contact with Chinese cultures.
The Chinese dean of the Confucius Institute, Hong Yonghong (洪永红), has told the reporters that their main goal for this open day is to raise interest of Ugandan towards Chinese language and cultures, as well as showing their working result after running the institute for half a year.’
This open day is known to held by the Confucius Institute of Makerere University and StarTimes (Uganda) co-operatively. The Chinese ambassador to Uganda gave his support to this co-operations mode, and encourage Chinese companies to work with the Institute, promote Chinese cultures, tighten China-Uganda friendship. At the same time, he suggested that the institute could held events outside the university, not just the university students but also get closer to more local people.
The representative of Uganda education department has also said, ‘In the area of education, China government has been giving out scholarships to students and offering large amount of short-term training opportunities to our government staffs. We really appreciate what China has provided us. For Ugandan students, we believed that they could gain wider international vision by learning Chinese, thus increase their market value and competitiveness in the future.’