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China Day 2016


The 2016 China Day festivities were the largest to date with over 850 students filling Northrop Memorial Auditorium for CIUMN's 11th annual China Day celebration.

The event kicked off with a welcome from Confucius Institute's Executive Director Joan Brzezinski, followed by a warm welcome from Dr. Ling Wang from the Asian Languages and Literatures Department who serves as the Chinese Director of Language Instruction and Director of Chinese Language for the Chinese Flagship program at the University. She was joined by Flagship student Madeline Stockton who shared her experience in the program and highlighted benefits of the program. Learn more about the Flagship program here.

This year's winning China Day t-shirt design was submitted by Highland Park Senior student Sarah Kass. In addition to bragging rights and a framed t-shirt of her design, Kass was awarded a collection of Journey to the West books, a year of the monkey calendar, and a certificate.

China Day's keynote performer was Western Monkey King Ghaffar Pourazar and director of the International Center for Beijing Opera. Pourazar is a master-artist that specializes in authentic Beijing opera education and performance. He is the only Western member of the Beijing Opera graduating from the Beijing Opera School and the National Academy as a warrior and Monkey King. As a student at the Beijing Opera School and the National Academy, he spent 10 years training in the classical roles, styles, movements, face-painting (make-up), singing and martial performances.

As China Day’s keynote speaker, Pourazar spoke about the importance of the Chinese opera and his role as the Monkey King, in addition to performing a one-man Monkey King show. In his hour-long performance, Pourazar delighted students and teachers with costume changes, video clips, stunts, and a segment where student volunteers learned the poses of Chinese Opera characters.

China Day concluded with a interactive trivia activity about the story of the Monkey King and Pourazar's performance/keynote.