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USTB-DMU Confucius Institute Teachers Celebrate International Youth Day


On May 4th, 2020, the teachers of the USTB-DMU Confucius Institute (CI) joined together online to celebrate International Youth Day, sing the official anthem of volunteer Chinese teachers and encourage each other while under lockdown due to the COVID-19 epidemic.


Pic 1 - Gathering together on Youth Day


As they entered the online chat room, the very sight of dear familiar faces brightened each volunteer’s mood. They made the best of each treasured moment, chatting casually and catching up with each other. Their excitement was followed by a group rendition of the anthem: “When the Flower Seeds of the Chinese Language Are Scattered All Over the Earth” (《瀚宇之花盛开》). After a humorous first attempt at singing in unison, the teachers took turns singing each line of the song. Though each volunteer was isolated in their own room, the beautiful melody and touching lyrics inspired them to do a better job in the UK during such challenging times.


Pic 2 - Singing the anthem


Moreover, the song is of special significance to the CI teachers because the writer of both the lyrics and music, YAN Na, also taught Chinese at the same Institute in Leicester from 2015 to 2017.


For this special occasion Dr. YANG Yingjun, Director of the CI, composed the following poem:


                         On Youth Day we “meet” by the River Soar, 

                           When the world suffers from long taxing bore.

                          The blossoms of a shared tongue we nourish,

                     The dream of a world of peace to cherish.

                Away from home we are as volunteers,

                    To build bridges for all in our best years.

                       The footsteps here we will always treasure,

                   For that rainbow is a source of pleasure.


The poem brought the CI staff a moment of welcome relief and a chance for pleasant conversation during the long dull spell of indoor life during lockdown, sharing their experiences working from home and a collective wish to return to a normal life soon. As a result they have been inspired to have greater confidence to offer more quality online lessons and homework for their students across Leicestershire.


Pic 3 - Sharing for mutual growth


(Draft: WEI Zhiping; Revision: YANG Yingjun)