On the afternoon of June 26th, UCD Confucius Institute held an online farewell party for outgoing Chinese teachers. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the farewell party was changed from the usual face-to-face tea ceremony to an online meeting for the first time. The party was hosted by volunteer Chinese teacher, Ms. Guiting Du. Present at the party were more than 40 teachers and staff of the UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland, including Professor Liming Wang, UCD CII Director, Mr. Wei Zhang, UCD CII Chinese Director. The achievements and successes of the CII family over the past year were reviewed and celebrated during the party.
Professor Liming Wang delivered a farewell speech on behalf of the Institute. He first mentioned the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide, reminding everyone to adhere to the safety and prevention guidelines to maintain health both physically and mentally. In addition, he also briefed teachers on the major changes of the Confucius Institute Headquarters this year and the future blueprint of the Confucius Institute, encouraging everyone to maintain an optimistic attitude and seize every opportunity. Finally, he said to all outgoing teachers that CII will always hold them dear and he hopes to meet them again in the future.
Mr. Wei Zhang praised all the teachers' work in the past year and thanked the teachers for their dedication and efforts for the work of the Institute. He said that although the Confucius Institute had encountered unprecedented challenges and difficulties due to the pandemic, for which Chinese teaching had to be conducted online, all the teachers continued their responsibilities with excellence. In addition, he also reminded everyone to pay attention to safety guidelines on the journey home, to isolate in accordance with domestic requirements after returning home, and to keep in contact with the Institute. On behalf of the Institute, he announced the list of outstanding teachers this year. In the end, he wished every outgoing teacher a safe journey back home.
Dr Lan Li, Deputy Director of the Institute shared her feelings of experiencing the pandemic, and appealed to teachers to not only pass on knowledge and culture but also to pay attention to the living environment of human beings so as to build a more harmonious and beautiful world.
Yao Lu spoke on behalf of volunteer teachers. She first thanked the Institute leaders for their care. At the same time, she said that her two years’ teaching in Ireland was extremely unforgettable. Growing from a novice teacher to a confident one, she believes that teaching here will be a wonderful memory for every teacher.
Afterwards, all the participants conducted lively and interesting interactive activities. As a "reserved program" for each farewell party, Mr. Yin Liang sang the Chinese song "Da Huajiao", creating a joyful atmosphere. Two volunteer teachers, Kangting Zhang and Ting Duan, directed a competition game; "Charades": They took turns to imitate the people of CII and mime items or iconic buildings on the campus. Teachers and staff were divided into two teams and the first person to answer correctly gained a point. Although "Charades" was presented in the form of a competition, it made everyone feel nostalgic about the Confucius Institute in a special way.
The farewell party ended with thanks and well wishes. This extraordinary 2020 will surely leave a permanent memory in the hearts of every teacher. There were many ups and downs throughout the year: Sometimes teachers felt lonely as if time stood still, but more often they felt responsible and supported. As a parting gift, UCD Confucius Institute gifted specially tailored t-shirts to all the outgoing teachers. We thank each teacher for their contribution to the Confucius Institute and wish them all a wonderful future in both work and personal life.
(Manuscript: Yang Yajie)