China Day celebrations feature guest lecture and a demonstration of Yue opera

York University’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics (DLL) celebrated China Day on Jan. 28. The event was part of the World Cultures Celebrations initiative created to promote intercultural understanding and leadership.

Professor Carole H. F. Hoyan from The Chinese University of Hong Kong gave a public lecture, titled “On Lu Xun’s Reception of Eroshenko,” to kick off the event. The lecture presented the Chinese writer Lu Xun’s (1881- 1936) literary interaction with the Russian writer Vasili Eroshenko (1890-1952), focusing on the two writers’ co-creation of each other’s literary image in their participation in a globalized discourse. This lecture was followed by an animated dialogue between Hoyan and York University students and professors, with the discussion focused on cultural translation and mediation.

Also invited to take part in the celebration was Rui Shen, head of the Toronto Fanghua Yue Opera (越劇) and chair of the Chinese Opera Canada Center Inc.,to give a presentation and a performance on Yue opera. Shen not only explained the history of Yue opera, there was also demonstrated the beauty of the art form with her own vocal performance. York University students had an opportunity to dress in the traditional costumes and they enthusiastically took part in the demonstration led by Shen, who taught them some basic performing skills.

China Day celebrations at York University featured a demonstration of Xue opera by Rui Shen, head of the Toronto Fanghua Yue Opera and chair of the Chines Opera Center Inc.

“This annual China Day provided experiential education experience to students by bringing a scholar from Hong Kong and a Yue opera performer from the local community to engage them in intellectual and culture exchanges at York University. Students reflected on their learning of Chinese-Russian cultural translation and aesthetical practice of Yue opera,” said Professor Jessica Tsui-yan Li, coordinator of the Chinese Program. “The Chinese Section will continue to prepare York University students to acquire intercultural knowledge and communication skills in order to become global leaders in striving for making our world a better place for everyone to live.”

The China Day event was sponsored by the Chinese Section, Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, the York Centre for Asian Research and Founders College.