Chinese Theory of Yin and Yang and its Relationship to a Modern Healthy Diet: Wisdom of Balance in Diet and Cuisine

Thursday, March 27, 2014
4-5 p.m.
The Sensory Theater in the Sensory Building

Today, Yin and Yang has become a familiar term to many people. The essence of Yin and Yang is to maintain a balance between complementary forces. In ancient China, the application of the Yin and Yang to create a state of wellness has long been practiced. It has contributed to many Chinese cooking traditions and China's food culture as a whole. This lecture is the first of an ongoing personal exploration in the search of a more complete understanding of the spiritual and material functions of the Yin and Yang concept in Chinese dietary habits and culinary practices. It is meant to convey some thoughts about the development of the Chinese culture and its views of the importance of diet in maintaining a state of good health.

Tea & Conversation: Names of Chinese People

Facilitated by Confucius Institute instructors Dan Cao (Danna) and Mei Liu (Meg)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Wickson Hall 3013

Different nations have their featured naming system. The Chinese take naming seriously as names are not only the label for a person to be identified, but also reflect the expectation of parents or even influence the life journey of a person. This Tea and Conversation will focus on what connotations Chinese names have and how Chinese names are given.

Tea & Conversation: 12 Zodiac Animals and the Constellation

Facilitated by Confucius Institute instructor Mei Liu (Meg)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Wickson Hall 3013

In Chinese astrology, the animal signs assigned by year represent what others perceive you as being or how you present yourself; thus, the 12 zodiac animals are usually connected with personality. In this Tea & Conversation, we’ll talk about the 12 zodiac animals in China and what personalities they represent, and the popular “compatibility test” of animal signs for people who are getting married. We’ll compare Chinese zodiac signs with the constellation in terms of personality.

A taste of China: traveling around Chinese tea areas

Monday, April 14, 2014
The Sensory Theater in the Sensory Building

In this green spring, with a cup of Longjing green tea in your hand, you will have an eye-opening tour around China. This workshop will show you around the places where China’s best tea leaves are produced, from delicate Zhejiang province in the east to mysterious Yunnan province in the west. It’s not just a taste of tea, but also a taste of China. Tea tasting: Long jing

Tea & Conversation: Why (not) this food on this occasion? (Customs and taboos of eating in China)

Facilitated by Confucius Institute instructor Sa Wu (Sally)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Wickson Hall 3013

In China, there are many common folk-customs in eating, or in selecting food for specific occasions. In this Tea and Conversation, we’ll explore these customs to better understand the underlying reasons for these selections.

Tea & Conversation: Blessings and tabooed words

Facilitated by Confucius Institute instructor Dan Cao (Danna)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Wickson Hall 3013

In China, saying blessings and avoiding taboo words reflects people’s psychological expectation for goodness in every culture, and is a skill for effective communication. In this Tea and Conversation, we’ll discuss the Chinese ideology of good and evil, and give you examples of blessings and taboos on specific occasions in Chinese folk life. Some blessings are fixed phrases, while many others are derived from the pronunciation, or part of the physical feature of an object.

Tea & Conversation: Chinese Games

Facilitated by Confucius Institute Deputy Director Jianqiao Dong

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Wickson Hall 3013
Chinese go, Chinese chess, Mahjong… Chinese people spend their leisure time with many games full of wisdom. This Tea and Conversation provides you the chance to understand these Chinese games and Chinese ways of passing time.

From tea house to tea bar: a miniature of social development

Monday, May 5, 2014
The Sensory Theater in the Sensory Building

The tea house, a by-product of Chinese tea culture, is more than a place to drink tea. It is a miniature of China’s social development. Its functions vary significantly with historical, social and cultural changes. You will listen to the tea house stories, see four typical kinds of tea houses in China, and gain an insight into both Chinese culture and tea culture. Tea tasting: Mao feng

The voyage of tea: from China to the world

Monday, June 9, 2014
The Sensory Theater in the Sensory Building

Tea, born in China, travelled to Japan in the 9th century, arrived in England during the 17th century and then became a popular beverage worldwide. The voyage of tea crossed both time and space, causing cultural transformations, breaking peace of the world, but bringing internal tranquility to humans. This workshop will give an introduction to the voyage of tea throughout the world and offer some insight into the history of our world. Tea tasting: Bi Luo Chun

Tea & Conversation: Dating and Blind Dates

Facilitated by Confucius Institute instructor Dan Cao (Danna)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Wickson Hall 3013

Tea & Conversation: Wedding and Marriage Customs in China vs. America

Facilitated by Confucius Institute instructor Mei Liu (Meg)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Wickson Hall 3013

Tea & Conversation: The Only Child in the Family

Facilitated by Confucius Institute Deputy Director Jianqiao Dong

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Wickson Hall 3013

Tea & Conversation: Parents and Parenting

Facilitated by Confucius Institute instructor Sa Wu (Sally)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Wickson Hall 3013

Introduction to Tai Chi

Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 8 - June 10, 2014
Central Park Davis

When you complete a series of choreographed, slow, fluid, and continuous movements, Tai Chi is like the gentle rain in the spring, bringing you benefits. Research at Harvard Medical School reports a wide range of benefits including; physical strength and vitality, balance and coordination, reduced pain and stiffness, reduced stress, enhanced sleep and calmness. Tai Chi also is used to improve balance and strength, and is particularly effective for older people with strength and flexibility issues.  The Yang style Tai Chi for its relatively smooth stretch and simplified motion, is the most popular style in the world today.

About instructor Janny Wu: Janny Wu is a seasoned and experienced Taichi instructor. She has a 6th Wushu Duan; International Tai Chi quan instructor, International Health Qigong instructor from China. Janny has taught Tai Chi over 15 years with experience of teaching all ages. Janny is a disciple under the fifth generation in the Yang Tai Chi family tree of master Zhao Youbin. She has trained in China, skilled in traditional Yang Style Taijiquan, weapon and Health Qigong. Janny also learned Tai Chi with the fifth generation of Wu style Tai Chi descendant Zhai Wei Chuan; the fifth generation of Bagua descendant Huo Dongli. Janny has been teaching Tai Chi in the Sacramento area since 2007. Her teachings enable students to feel easy and comfortable. She is in the classroom to take into account each students needs. She helps students through practicing Tai Chi in class to get benefits for their health. Janny’s desire is to help people know more about Yang Tai Chi, so that people by practicing Yang Tai Chi become healthier young.

Introduction to Chinese Paper Cutting 

April 22, 2014, 12:30 - 1:30pm
May 9, 2014,12:30-1:30pm
June 2, 2014, 12:30-1:30pm

UC Davis Craft Center, UC Davis

This workshop provides participants with an insight into the history, culture and folk tradition of paper-cutting in China. Once participants have mastered the basic techniques, they will practice cutting animals, flowers and traditional Chinese patterns. Participants will be guided step by step to create their own artwork, bring their work home, or present them as gifts to family or friends.

Chinese Paper Cutting: Characters 

Monday, May 19, 2014
12noon - 1:15pm
Wickson Hall 1017

This workshop builds upon the techniques learned in the Introduction to Chinese Paper Cutting, and participants learn to cut Chinese characters: 囍 (means double happiness, a wedding ceremony must-have decoration) and variations of this character 囍, and a 3D Chinese character 春 (chūn, means spring). Having attended Introduction to Chinese Paper Cutting is recommended but not required - there will be no introduction to the history of paper-cutting in the Characters workshop - this is covered in the Introduction workshop.

Chinese Paper-Cutting: Zodiac Animals

Tuesday May 27, 2014, 12:15 - 1:30pm
Friday, June 13, 2014, 12:15-1:30pm
Wickson Hall 1017

In this workshop, participants will hear stories about the Chinese zodiac animals, learn to cut some animal patterns and make a bookmark with their paper cut-outs.Having attended Introduction to Chinese Paper Cutting is recommended but not required - there will be no introduction to the history of paper-cutting in the Zodiac Animals workshop - this is covered in the Introduction workshop.

The Story of Staple Food in China

Monday, April 28, 2014
Meeting Room D, Student Community Center, UC Davis

“Rice in the south and wheat in the north” is the basic staple food pattern in China. However, in the pursuit of good taste with aesthetic appearance, Chinese people have created hundreds of food out of rice and wheat with their wisdom. Listening to the story of staple food in China, with pictures and video clips, you’ll get into an amazing gourmet wonderland in different regions, for different nationalities in China. Also, you can see Chinese people’s expectations and best wishes represented in some foods.

What Makes Chinese Food So Delicious?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Student Community Center, Meeting Room D

What makes Chinese food so delicious? What does recipe mean to Chinese people? Starting from the classification of Chinese cuisines, this presentation means to reveal the secret of yummy Chinese dishes: the perfect blend of five flavors. What’s more, we’ll see that the five flavors are actually closely connected with the health of different organs of human beings.

Entering Peking Opera Theatre…

Thursday, June 5, 2014
Meeting Room D, Student Community Center

Starting from the origin of Peking Opera, this presentation will show the characteristics of Peking Opera in performance, music & orchestra, stage & prop, with some video clips of traditional Peking Opera aria. Also, it will present some of its unique features such as facial make-up and costumes. To make it understandable, the presenter will make some comparison between Peking Opera and Italian opera.