York celebrates China Day on Monday with performances of Chinese folk songs and classical Chinese music, played on the guqin, and a slide show about the Hakka earth towers of Fujian province.
Presented by York’s Chinese Program and New College, the two-hour event begins at 4:30pm and takes place in Curtis Lecture Hall M.
This year, by happy coincidence, China Day falls on the Chinese New Year.
The event begins with a recital of 20 folk and popular songs by soloist Hong Zhang, from Binghamton University in upstate New York. Zhang is co-author of Chinese through Song, an innovative approach to language acquisition where students develop their language proficiency by learning Chinese songs.
Gordon Anderson, coordinator of York’s East Asian Studies Program, will perform Chinese classic music on the guqin, an ancient seven-string instrument that is plucked like a zither.
Finally, Keith Lowe, former director of the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, gives a slide presentation on the Hakka earth towers in Fujian. The Hakka towers are human-made wonders of the world, hidden for centuries in a remote region. Built like fortresses four to five storeys high, they have a single entrance with no windows on the ground floor, and gun ports on upper floors. Based on Taoist and feng shui principles, they inspire deep reflection on the place of the individual in the universe. Embodying Confucian values, they demonstrate through their allocation and use of space how families serve the past and the future in a society based on ancestor worship.