Friends of the CIUS Center Community Picnic

Friends of the CIUS Center Community Picnic | July 20th, 2019

On Saturday, July 20th, 2019 The Confucius Institute U.S. Center held its first ever Friends of the CIUS Center Community Picnic. Our language community partners, 2019 People-to-People Award Honorees, and Honoree Alumni from previous years came together to celebrate our 2019 ‘My Confucius Institute Story’ Essay Contest winner’s exemplary achievements.

Event Recap

Friends of the CIUS Center Community Picnic

By: Erik Eging

On Saturday, July 20th, 2019 The Confucius Institute U.S. Center held its first ever Friends of the CIUS Center Community Picnic. Our language community partners, 2019 People-to-People Award Honorees, and Honoree Alumni from previous years came together to celebrate our 2019 ‘My Confucius Institute Story’ Essay Contest winner’s exemplary achievements. The picnic was held at Hains Point picnic area in Washington DC.  Although it was hot, the constant breeze rolling off the Potomac ensured that the only thing cooking was the freshly caught seafood. 

Under the shade of poplar and willow trees this year’s honorees and alumni were treated to an assortment of all-you-can eat seafood, burgers, and sides as part of our buffet styled dinner. Casual conversation and community building were then intermingled with language challenges and teambuilding activities.  Out on the sun-stained lawn, teams of three competed in in our Chinese Character Relay Race which tested participants language skills, character knowledge, and quick thinking.  Attendees could also be seen sharing stories, sharing a laugh, and playing competitive games of cornhole.

In addition to the picnic, the CIUS Center hosted an assortment of weekend events to foster a lifelong alumni network and global education friendships between past honorees and new ones. We kicked off our Honoree Weekend with a Friday night welcome dinner at the CIUS Center. Honorees from across the country-from San Diego, CA to Buffalo, NY-came together to share a meal and get to know each other.  Attendees engaged in icebreakers while they sat around tables. They were also invited to view a gallery of photos highlighting their various engagements with global education and excursions abroad. 

The night was closed out with by our keynote speaker and special guest Dan Mote, the founder of the first U.S. Confucius Institute at University of Maryland back in 2004. The Confucius Institute at UMD was the first in the world. Since then, the Confucius Institutes’ mission of strengthening global education through people-to-people exchange has expanded to over 500 universities around the globe. Dr. Mote stressed the importance of people-to-people exchange in a time of increasing polarization and misinformation.  

Other events included a Saturday lunch in, Beijing Opera dance instruction, and a D.C. based scavenger hunt that gave attendees a chance to explore the nation’s beautiful capital.

Thank you to all who joined the CIUS Center for this lovely weekend!

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