Ming Chuan University shares culture with new weekly program

Ming Chuan University launched its new program, ‘Chinese Corner: Let’s Speak Mandarin,’ on Thursday, Sept. 11.

“We really appreciate SVSU for the facility,” Program Assistant Louise Chen said. “When we accept this kind of friendship, we want to give back, so we want to share this space and have more students come.”

‘Let’s Speak Mandarin’ is a free drop-in program for faculty, staff, and students. Those interested do not need to attend the full 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. meetings each Thursday, according to Chen.

The Valley Vanguard

Vanguard photo | Allison Bur

A student, Lily Tseng, taught participants how to perform a traditional tea ceremony at the first ‘Chinese Corner: Let’s Speak Mandarin’ program.

She hopes that students come to learn more about Chinese culture.

“China’s influence in the world is very obvious,” Chen said. “SVSU students may need to have contact with Chinese people (in their careers), and it’s better to have a basic knowledge of Chinese culture because sometimes people have culture shock and that can be a disadvantage.”

Nursing senior Bethany Thrun attended the program’s kickoff event.

“I am very interested in the Asian culture and I’m fortunate enough to be one of the Roberts Fellows (this year),” Thrun said. “I wanted to learn a bit more about Chinese culture and meet some people who can tell me more about Ming Chuan University.”

At meetings, the group will teach Mandarin, show

Mandarin films, create Chinese art, play Chinese games, practice traditional tea ceremonies and teach calligraphy.

“Our main goal is to not bring stress to people,” Chen said. “People nowadays, their lives are stressful, so when they come here, we want to show them that there’s a program where they can learn how Chinese people feel relaxed.”

Thrun sees much to gain from the program.

“I hope to gain new friendships, different insights, new perspectives and have a bunch of fun.”

Chen wants students to feel free to stop in and ask questions.

“If you have a tattoo and you don’t know what it says, feel free to bring it in,” Chen said. “We would also love to

help students get their Chinese names. They can give me the English name, we can write it in calligraphy, and they can bring it home…We always have prepared authentic tea. (Students) don’t have to fly out to Taiwan or China; they can have a corner of China right here.”

Chen believes the program is important not just for SVSU, but for the world.

“Sharing culture is such a meaningful thing to do because we are on the same boat,” Chen said. “If we build up the trust, build up the understanding of one another, build up the spirit of sharing, I’m hoping that without that conflict, we can have more peaceful lives.”

For more information about the program, contact Chen at [email protected].

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