The University of Iowa

'Culture for Lunch' series begins Oct. 2 with Marvelous Chinese Characters

September 25th, 2012

Chinese culture for lunchFeed your hunger for Chinese culture by joining the Confucius Institute at the University of Iowa for a mini lecture series this fall, “Chinese Culture for Lunch,” beginning Tuesday, Oct. 2, with a discussion on Marvelous Chinese Characters. All lectures in this series are free and open to the public and sponsored by the Confucius Institute and International Programs.

Yong Zhu will lead all talks in the series. Zhu is an associate professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University, China, where he teaches foreign students Chinese and also teaches Chinese students Second Language Acquisition Theory. He currently is a research scholar at the Confucius Institute at the UI. Zhu holds a Ph.D. in literature from Kansai University in Japan, an M.A. in linguistics from Peking University, and a B.A. in philosophy from Beijing Normal University.

Bring your lunch if you’d like, and join us for the following presentations:

Marvelous Chinese Characters
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 12:15-1:15 p.m. (1117 UCC)

Chinese characters are among the world's most ancient scripts, and are also used by the largest number of population in the world. Chinese character were historically use in Korean and Vietnam. There are still 2,000 Chinese characters commonly used in modern Japanese. Chinese characters are ideographic; they are quite different from Roman letters. How did the ancient Chinese create Chinese characters? Do you want to try your hand at writing Chinese characters with a brush pen? Please join us for this and more!

Chinese Traditional Festivals
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 12:15-1:15 p.m. (1117 UCC)

Through China’s many thousands years of history, all kinds of festivals have been adopted and have become the stuff of tradition. They become integral elements of Chinese culture. Currently, the major national statutory holidays are Spring Festival, Tomb Sweeping Day, Dragon Boat Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival. From the culture of daily life, we can explore the traditional ideas of the Chinese people, and we can also better understand the origin of modern Chinese thought.

Ancient Chinese Thought’s Effect on Traditional Architectural Culture
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 12:15-1:15 p.m. (1117 UCC)

Traditional Chinese buildings are primarily wooden structures. Even outside the grandeur of the imperial palaces, traditional buildings were quite elegantly colored, even though they were not as tall as modern buildings. From the palace to the people’s residences, Chinese best like the house built in a square courtyard format. The courtyard becomes a place for leisure with pavilions looking as if a part of the natural scenery. They all display the traditional Chinese philosophy and aesthetics. From a traditional architecture, we can more vividly understand the connotations of Chinese culture.

For more information, contact Erin Mullins at or 319-335-3857.