Understanding China Provides Cultural Learning Opportunity at Genesee Community College

Sichuan Students Share Their Culture with Community
Sometimes, through tragedy comes opportunity. Eight students from the earthquake-stricken Sichuan Province in China are now in their second and last semester of study at Genesee Community College, and they will soon return to their homeland committed to assisting in the rebuilding of their country. Before returning to China, however, the students are collaborating with Genesee’s Global Education Committee to present a series of activities and opportunities for the College and local community to learn about China, its culture and its people in a month-long series of dynamic events, entitled Understanding China.

The students from the Sichuan Province first came to Genesee through scholarships provided by the State University of New York (SUNY) and the Chinese government after their province was destroyed by a massive earthquake in May 2008. As part of their studies at Genesee, they are completing a service-learning project to educate the College community about Chinese culture. They have used their tragic experiences to inspire learning in their fellow American students and the entire College constituency.

During the months of March and April, there will be many activities throughout the Batavia Campus that focus on Chinese culture. The first activities are language lessons in Mandarin Chinese. The curriculum will focus on basic vocabulary and phrases, (greetings, vocabulary of the family) and an introduction to pinyin and traditional characters. The second series is Tai Chi lessons taught by Christian Street from the Red Dragon School of Martial Arts in Buffalo, NY. All lessons are FREE and open to the public. Registration is required. To register for any lessons, contact Michelle Orr at 585-345-6831. Lessons are limited to 20 participants and locations are to be determined.
  • Introductory Lessons in Mandarin Chinese- Thursdays, March 5- April 23 (no lesson March 19). Six one-hour lessons will be presented from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM. Taught by Genesee students Yeting Feng, Haiyi Yu, Yikun Li and Chen Sun.
  • Introductory Lessons in Mandarin Chinese- Tuesdays, March 24- April 28. Six one-hour lessons will be presented from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM. Taught by Genesee students Changui Peng, Hongjian Lu, Tian Tan and Dan Evong.
  • Introduction to Tai Chi- Tuesdays, March 24- April 28. Six one-hour lessons presented from 7:45 PM – 8:45 PM.
  • Introduction to Tai Chi- Sundays, March 22- April 26. Six one-hour lessons presented from 1:00 PM- 2:00 PM.

The Understanding China series continues on Wednesday, April 1st from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM in room T102 (Conable Technology Building) with a panel presentation, “Sharing Their Stories,” with Genesee Community College instructor of Biology and Biotechnology, Tong Cheng who grew up in China, Josephine Kearney, instructor of Sociology and Human Services who has traveled extensively and recently taught English as a foreign language in China , and also the students from the Sichuan province in China.

Genesee Community College kicked-off its Understanding China series with a special Chinese New Year Parade and Celebration on February 12 that featured a dragon dance, a sampling of Chinese food and cultural video in celebration of the Year of the Ox. The long, green dragon was made by students with the assistance of Moi Dugan, instructor of ceramics and 3-D design and can be viewed on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_oTyfgZ-Eo .

All events in the Understanding China series are free and open to the public. For more information or to register for a lesson, please contact Michelle Orr at 585-345-6831 to reserve a spot.