Confucius Institute in Ireland's Cork marks 15th anniversary

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CORK, Ireland, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- With a panel meeting and Chinese and Irish performances, the Confucious Institute at University College Cork celebrated its 15th anniversary on Friday evening.

On behalf of the Lord Mayor of Cork City, Councillor John Sheehan in a welcome speech highly praised the institute's contribution to promoting the people-to-people exchanges between Ireland and China, especially between Cork and Shanghai, which formed a sister city relationship in 2005.

"The Office of the Lord Mayor of Cork and Cork City Council fully support the aims and objectives of the Confucius Institute at University College Cork and have done so since its inception in 2007," he said.

Over the last 15 years, the institute has provided Chinese language education to more than 43,000 primary and secondary school students, and nearly 2,500 university students, said Huang Junyi, Chinese co-director of the institute.

It has also arranged trips to Shanghai for nearly 100 primary and secondary school principals and sent 820 secondary school students to China for summer camps, Huang said.

"Apart from teaching Chinese language, we have also teamed up with local governments and other partners in launching over 400 cultural events such as Spring Festival Evening Gala and Culture Night," which have been warmly received by locals, he added.

At the Cork City Hall, the headquarters of the Cork City Council, eight representatives from various walks of life shared their experiences with the institute at a panel meeting called "CI (Confucius Institute) and Me."

Then an audience of around 800 people watched a two-hour performance of Chinese and Irish music, dances, songs and martial arts at the concert hall of the Cork City Hall.

The other two Confucius Institutes in Ireland are in Dublin and Galway. Enditem

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