Confucius Institutes 孔子学院

by Sue Anne Tay

Competition My China Dream Tashkent

Tashkent, Uzbekistan: A young Uzbek university student gives an impassioned speech entitled “My China Dream” as part of the “Chinese Bridge” (or han yu qiao) –  a global Chinese language proficiency competition – in 2011. Candidates are coached by their Chinese teachers to recite lyrical speeches as part of the competition which also include a Q&A on Chinese history and culture and a cultural performance.

Uzbek student in Yunnan minority dress

Tashkent, Uzbekistan: An Uzbek university student rehearses ahead of the cultural performance section of her “Chinese Bridge” (or han yu qiao) competition. She wears a Yunnan ethnic minority ceremonial dress as part of her act.

Tashkent Hanqiao Winners Chinese ambassador

Tashkent, Uzbekistan: Chinese ambassador Zhang Xiao, a fluent Russian speaker, was the guest of honor at the “Chinese Bridge” (or han yu qiao) competition. Here, he poses with the winner and runners-up of the language proficiency contest, along with their Chinese teachers. The winner heads to Beijing to compete in the semi-finals with other international winners of the Chinese Bridge competitions held world-wide.

Students at Jalalabad Confucius Centre

Jalalabad, Kyrgyzstan: Uzbek students study Mandarin at a Chinese language centre in Jalalabad University. The Centre is paired up with Xinjiang Normal University and is in the process of upgrading to a Confucius Institute which would allow it to officially apply for more funding and resources. Jalalabad is a major trade city in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Confucius Centre Bishkek

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: A Kyrgyz graduate student of the Bishkek Humanities University does her Chinese homework in the Confucius Institute located within the university campus. In the background, a figurine of Confucius hangs on the wall. The television is hooked up to Chinese satellite to receive more Chinese channels than the limited array of CCTV channels (in Russian and English) available in the city.

Chinese Kyrgyz Textbook Hanban

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: A Chinese-Kyrgyz textbook sits atop boxes of education supplies shipped from Hanban, the Beijing-based headquarters of Confucius Institutes worldwide. Early teaching materials were mainly Chinese-Russian translations due to the pervasiveness of Russian spoken among the educated classes in Central Asia. However, Hanban has dedicated special effort in translating pedagogical materials in local languages like Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Kazakh and Tajik.

Bishkek Humanities University Confucius Centre

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: Professor Wang of the Confucius Institute at the Bishkek Humanities University converses with a Chinese-Kazakh language teacher and a Kyrgyz graduate student. He was sent by the Xinjiang Normal University to Bishkek. Confucius Institutes abroad are usually paired up with a Chinese university for teachers and pedagogical materials are dispatched from Hanban in Beijing.

Confucius Institute in Almaty

Almaty, Kazakhstan: A Chinese teacher at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University’s Confucius Institute shows off a framed photograph of the China Pavilion for the Shanghai World Expo held in 2010.

Confucius Centre Kazakh National University

Almaty, Kazakhstan: A Kazakh student studies in a brightly decorated language training centre in Al-Farabi Kazakh National University’s Confucius Institute.

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