Yearly Archives: 2014

Dumpling Dreams – August 2014

Summerhall Courtyard is the place to find the unique Rickshaw Theatre where from 11-25 August stories of daily life in China will be shared.

Scotsman Review
`In a production that makes the consequences of globalisation personal, its impressively powerful stuff` ****

Fest Magazine Review
`This delicate and sweet-natured performance clashes cultures on very personal and emotive footing ****

Broadway Baby
An unusual and curious idea, this is a meeting of cultures that typifies the spirit of the Fringe ****

STV Review
In the rickshaw a pair of performers create a miniature world for an audience of only two. Step into the rickshaw, sip a cup of Jasmine tea, relax for ten minutes, choose an object and enter the world of Dumpling Dreams

… `What do Westeners eat?` ponder the women working in a Shenzhen factory making outsized jeans.

`How many eggs do I need to pay for a year`s school fees and books?` wonders a 7 year old girl in a Shandong village.

When a women`s baby daughter falls down a well and her fellow villagers say, `Leave her there, she`s a girl`, what can she do?

Through image, music and words in a mix of Mandarin and English, no two stories are the same, but all of them are true. The performers dreams will be complemented by a programme of short films, music, crafts and pop-up events all centred round the Rickshaw.

About this project

The Confucius Institute for Scotland is proud to be one of the sponsors of this fringe production which has resulted from the work of a number of innovative organisations and individuals in China as outlined below.

The Beijing Community Rickshaw Project is the first to work exclusively out of a rickshaw; Hua Dan Theatre is a pioneering Chinese NGO that uses grassroots theatre to work with migrant women, workers and families in urban Beijing and rural Sichuan; entrepreneur, Li Peng and Jessica Fusco-Naish work between China and Europe to support artistic exchange. None receive any state funding in China and exist on donations, sponsorship and small self- generated projects. Tinderbox Theatre Project, and the Red Field are respectively Edinburgh and Fife based community outreach companies whose vision, commitment and hard work have been essential in enabling Dumpling Dreams to come to the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fringe Details and Advance Booking

Family Fun at NMS – July 2014

To mark the Ming exhibition at National Museum of Scotland, our Institute staff is working with museum staff to deliver family taster sessions for a week in July.

The interactive sessions will give visitors the opportunity to try their hand at the art of decorative knot tying, create beautiful pottery patterns, write your name in Chinese characters and more!

The events will take place Monday 21 to Sunday 27 July from noon till 4pm in the Grand Gallery on Level 1 and the Learning Centre on Level 4.

Village Doctors – July 2014

A lunchtime lecture on 1 July will examine the role of village doctors in primary health care in Central and Western China.

The seminar will be given by Dr Zheng Xie who is a medical sociologist and Lecturer at the Department of Global Health at Peking University Health Science Centre. Dr Zheng has more than 10years of experience in conducting public health research in China and aboard. Her research interests include the evaluation of China`s health system reforms and disease control policies and programs. She has taught undergraduate and postgraduate subjects in these areas as well as quantitative and qualitative research methods. More recently, she has expanded her research collaboration to African countries including Nigeria and Kenya. She has been a consultant for the Ministry of Health in China as well as bilateral and multilateral organisations such as the World Health Organisation, UNAIDS, UK DFID, and AUSAID, and has contributed to the World Health Organization`s Commission of Social Determinants of Health final report of 2008.

  • Topic: The role of village doctors in primary health care: : A mixed-methods study in Central and Western China
  • Speaker: Dr Zheng Zie,Department of Global Health, Peking University Health Science Centre
  • Date: Tuesday 1 July 2014
  • Time: 1.00-2.00pm
  • Location: Sydney Smith Lecture Theatre

The Sydney Smith Lecture Theatre is located on the second floor of the Medical School in Teviot Place (enter by doorway 1 from the Quadrangle).

Chen Liming BP China – June 2014

Chen Liming, President BP China will deliver a special lecture on Wednesday 11th June in the University of Edinburgh`s Business School on the topic `Climate Change from a China perspective: why we care after all.`

In 2013 Chen Liming gave a lecture as part of the Confucius Institute for Scotland annual Business Lecture Series. Following on from this he was made an Visiting Professor within the school of Literature, Languages and Cultures. This lecture is his first as a visiting professor.

Chen Liming became President of BP China in November 2008 and also serves as Chairman of BP (China) Holding Company. Prior to joining BP he was Executive Vice President of Sasol China, an integrated energy and chemicals company. His career began in 1994 with the CONDEA Group which was subsequently acquired by Sasol. Prior to his career advancement Chen Liming was a senior researcher in Singapore Institute of Standards & Industrial Research in charge of scientific research and negotiation on joint ventures. His holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Shihezi University, Xinjiang, PRC and his Masters degree in Science is from Cornell University. He has also completed the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School.

His visit is organised by the Confucius Institute for Scotland and this lecture is jointly hosted by the Institute and the Business School.

DATE: Wednesday 11th June 2014
TIME: Registration with tea and coffee 18.00
LECTURE: from 18.00 to 19.30 including Q&A
RECEPTION: from 19.30-20.15
VENUE: University of Edinburgh Business School
BOOKING: Please click here to register via the Business School

Poster Art of Modern China – June – July 2014

`Poster Art of Modern China` is a `must see` exhibition running at Adam House, Chambers Street from 6 June to 12 July.

The exhibition comprises a selection of 133 posters on loan from Propaganda Poster Art Centre, Shanghai. From the earliest Shanghai Calendar Girl posters, to the newest poster depicting Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin, this collection reveals the turbulent history of China over these decades as well as varying artistic influences on this art form.

There is no charge to view the exhibition more details of which can be found at

Chinese Bridge – Language & Culture Competition

Three Edinburgh students and their tutor will next month head to London to take part in the UK heats of the global `Chinese Bridge` competition for university students held annually.

In addition to testing language proficiency, the competition tests knowledge of China, cultural skills and understanding. There is huge scope to demonstrate cultural skills and understanding through e.g. Kongfu, Taichi, calligraphy, music, paper-cutting etc. As well as Grand First, Second and Third prizes there are a number of special awards for individuals such as Best Presentation, Best Performance, Best Eloquence, Best Tutor etc.

Edinburgh has a great track record from previous competitions. Last year’s three competitors all made it to the final round with James Mabbutt being awarded the top place, while Ieva Nagyte won First Prize. Our third competitor Marta Hennig was awarded Best Knowledge Prize and Dr Zhu, Chinese Language Programme Director received a special award as Best Tutor.

Ieva went on to achieve a top ten place in the global final in Beijing which is a broadcast  televised event with viewer voting.

The 14th `Chinese Bridge` competition will take place in London on Saturday 21st March 2015.

We send good luck wishes to the 2015 candidates and to their tutor Dr Zhu!

China Lecture Series 12 Dr Konrad Lawson, University of St. Andrews – March 2014

The penultimate talk in the Research Seminar Series will take place on Wed 19 March 2014 when Dr Konrad Lawson, University of St Andrews will discourse on the topic From Executions to Education: Traitor Elimination Work in Shandong Province, 1938-1947.

This talk will take place from 5.15pm – 7pm in Room G.15, William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School on Wed 19 March. Advance booking is not required.

The final talk in this series by Prof Dominic Sachsenmeier, University of Bremen which was scheduled to take place on Wed 2nd April has regretfully been cancelled.

CI Director Becomes Fellow of RSE

Professor Natascha Gentz, Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Edinburgh, was named alongside 52 other distinguished recipients, as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). She will join those Fellows, past and present, who have strived to attain the RSEs founding mission: the advancement of learning and useful knowledge.

Professor Gentz, who took up the position of Chair of Chinese in 2006, also holds the positions of Dean International (China), Director of the Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh and Director of the Scottish Centre for Chinese Studies.

For more information on Professor Gentz, click here.

New Fellows are elected each year to the RSE via a rigorous five-stage nomination process. The breadth of the Fellowship, which includes more than 1500 people from Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond, ensures that the RSE can provide leadership and excellence across all areas of public life.

The RSE was established by Royal Charter in 1783 by key proponents of the Scottish Enlightenment and its work includes awarding research funding, leading on major enquiries, informing public policy and delivering events to inspire knowledge and learning.

ESU Junior Mace Debating Final

Join us in the Playfair Library when the four final teams in the ESU Junior Mace competition will debate the topic: `This house believes in the China Dream`.

Doors open at 18.30 to allow our audience of pupils, teachers, parents and interested parties to determine which team you believe has won the debate. The decision of the judging panels which is of course final, will be announced by 21.30

The four schools taking part in the Scottish Schools Mace Competition are: Beaconhurst School; George Heriots` School; Mary Erskine School; and St Columba`s School.

`It may seem strange that an Institute which is trying to get people to learn Chinese opted to sponsor a competition which encourages effective use of the English language but as part of our remit we also want to give people opportunity to learn about China beyond the cliche of the dragon dance. The opportunity to work with ESU gave us the chance to encourage some of Scotlands brightest youngsters to consider live issues in contemporary China and understand the impact that China has on all our lives.`

Professor Natascha Gentz, Director, Confucius Institute for Scotland

Fudan Summer School

If you are not eligible for the scholarship programme on offer thanks to Shanghai Municipal Government you may be interested in the summer school programme Fudan University, Shanghai from 28 June-26 July 2014.

Organised by the International Students Office of Fudan University this programme offers the opportunity to earn academic credits and experience an extensive cultural programme – with the benefit that there are 19 courses run in English as well as Chinese Language courses at three different levels.

  • Application Deadline: April 28, 2014.
  • Application Fee: RMB 400.
  • Tuition: RMB 11,000.

Click here to view Fudan University International Summer School pdf.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us by email to, by phone on 0131 662 2180 or call in during office hours 09.30-17.30 Monday-Friday.