Students learn how to eat with chopsticks, drink Chinese tea in Chinese New Year celebration

The Department of Languages and Translation at Birzeit University celebrated the Chinese New Year (the Year of the Dog) along with students and faculty members on March 22, 2018, in the Faculty of Arts.

Xu Liguo, a visiting professor who teaches Chinese for Beginners at Birzeit University and Li Zhenying, Chinese instructor at Al-Quds University, led the students on a journey of cultural discovery as they showed them the ancient art of Chinese paper-cutting, taught them how to draw Chinese calligraphy, trained them in the age-old tai chi (taiji) martial art, coached them on how to use Chinese chopsticks, and invigorated their taste buds with traditional tea.

Chair of the Department of Languages and Translation Adnan Abuayyash highlighted the cultural benefits of organizing and holding such events, saying, “It’s very exciting to see students’ amazement at international cultures and ways of life. When you think about it, everything that these students know about international cultures came from television, films, movies, and the internet. Good as that may be, they still need to actually see and experience these cultures for themselves, to actually hold a chopstick or learn to draw Chinese calligraphy, to fully appreciate the depth and breadth of such an ancient culture as the Chinese one.”

The Department of Languages and Translation offers 44 courses, such as Chinese for Beginners, over nine academic programs. Among the most popular courses for students, which can be taken as elective courses, are Turkish Language for Beginners, Chinese for Beginners, and Italian Communications 1.