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Multi-culture exchange between NDHU - Chinese Language Center and Zhong Zheng Elementary School

It was the first time that NDHU - Chinese Language Center work along with the school Zhongzheng Elementary School located in Hualien city. A local multi-culture exchange took place on the days december 18th and 21st by holding different activities on both days between International students and Zhong Zheng elementary school students. It was a total of 24 attendants, from 10 different countries, all of them as students of CLC - Seasonal Chinese language course. Among the countries represented: Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Italy, the United States, St. Vincent, St. Christopher and Nevis, Colombia, India. 12 elementary school students received CLC students with arms wide open and were the hosts for the 2-days activity. Among the 12 students, fourth, fifth and sixth grade participated together.


On the 18th of december, International students from CLC arrived to Zhong Zheng School, and after being received with a warm welcome by the students, principal Yang Chenrong did give some words of encouragement to our young hosts and also welcomed to the group of students from CLC. CLC students started the activity with a brief introduction of their country's culture and cuisine, all in an impressive and fluent Chinese. Among the countries presented: Italy, Vietnam, Japan and Guatemala.


CLC students were shocked by the response of the children who were adding extra info to the content presented by CLC students. Our young hosts did a great job by being in charge of the different activities for the afternoon. There was a game called Radish squat language version, where the mother language of CLC students were used to be part of the game. The second game was not by using oral communication but by using our hands to draw and let the other person guess. All the participants, not only CLC students but also from Zhong Zheng school got to learn a little bit of how to say "Hi" and "goodbye" in Spanish, vietnamese, japanese, english, Italian, etc. and our CLC students also learned how to say "Hi" and "goodbye" in Southern Fujian language, Hakka and more indigenous languages.


Teachers and students from Zhong Zheng Elementary School, personally prepare traditional local snacks such as Hakka mochi, banana rice with a special meaning: "making friends", taro balls meaning "meeting you", and chatting and getting to know CLC students while enjoying the exquisite local food. Su Ting, a student from Thailand said that she likes culture-exchange activities very much. She also expressed that children will not be afraid of getting to know foreigners in the future since they have already had the chance to interact with them. At the end, Su Ting also pointed: "Children from Zhong Zheng Elementary school were well-prepared for this activity and I do really admire them for such responsibility".


On the 21st, CLC headed to Hualien City, students from the Zhong Zheng Elementary School where in charge of guiding and introducing the culture and history of the Gou Tsai Wei area in to foreign students, the area where the railway was located before ad the ChengHuang temple that was one of the most important during the Japanese governance was introduced by the young guides. It was an eye-opening experience for CLC students. Among the activities when visiting the temple, CLC experience throwing the jiaobei blocks for divination purposes and drawing poems . One of the students from CLC that joined the activity , after drawing the poem, he picked Middle Luck Poem. Hai Rong was able to understand the meaning of this poem by the help of your hard working young guides. Hai Rong also said that locals are not use to drawing poems or throwing jiaobei blocks after worshiping in Vietnam.


After enjoying delicious Taiwanese dishes, CLC headed to Hualien City's "Planning and Workers Community Development Association" to experience traditional drumming. After one hour of the teacher's guidance and practice, the drum sound became more and more uniform, and through the hard effort, it also helped to improve mutual friendship. Meng Peisheng from Colombia, said that he did enjoy the atmosphere with everyone together, and his country also has a different kind of drums, but he had so much fun while playing the drums and at the same time he felt like home while listening to a similar sound in Taiwan.


Under the guidance of Prof Long Lihua, the primary and middle school students of the Zhong Zheng Elementary School did plan, design activities and make props. At first, students were quite unfamiliar and did not know how to interact with CLC students. In order to be ready for the cultural exchange, students from Zhong Zheng school did some research on the Internet, made world maps, and took notes. In addition, elementary school students filmed videos before the event, introducing Taiwanese language, food, and places of interest to foreign students. CLC students also filmed greetings in their mother tongue. The two parties did some homework preparations before the trip and learned about each other through the videos.


Through the activities, in addition to allowing foreign students to use Chinese when communicating with locals to better understand the local culture of Hualien, they also had a good interaction with primary school students in Taiwan. From the beginning, they were nervous and shy, and later integrated into the activities and learned from each other. Foreign students and elementary school students cultivated a unique friendship that went beyond nationality. They also learn about the culture of Taiwan and other countries' through the interaction within each other.







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