Friends of the CIUS Center Community Picnic
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Over the summer, the Confucius Institute U.S. Center held its first ever Friends of the CIUS Center Community Picnic. Our community partners, 2019 People-to-People Award Honorees, and Honoree Alumni came together to get to know our 2019 ‘My Confucius Institute Story’ Essay Contest winner’s and welcome them into our Confucius community! 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 during a buffet-style 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 our Chinese Character Relay Race, testing participants language skills, character knowledge, and quick thinking. Attendees could also be seen sharing stories, laughs, and enjoying relaxing games of cornhole.
Welcome 2019 Honorees!
In addition to the picnic, the weekend as a whole was a warm welcome for our 2019 People-to-People Award Honorees into the CIUS Center Community. Honorees from across the country – San Diego, CA to Buffalo, NY – joined the festivities and through a series of icebreakers during Friday’s welcome dinner we were all quickly reminded of the powerful friendships created through global ducation.
Dr. Dan Mote, a long time Confucius Institute advocate, joined as the keynote speaker Friday evening and shared his refelctions on the growth and impact of the Confucius Institute program since he founded the first US Confucius Institute at the University of Maryland in 2004. 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 exchanges in a time of increased polarization and misinformation.
A Beijing Opera workshop provided by DC Beauty of Beijing Opera and a local scavenger hunt allowing honorees to explore the nation’s beautiful capital wrapped up the weekend’s activities making it a highlight of the year.