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Maltese university students get first-hand experience in Chinese tea culture

Updated: 2022-11-10 15:40 ( Xinhua )
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A group of around 20 students from the University of Malta took part in a Chinese tea tasting event on the campus on Wednesday to add a special flavor to their Chinese language course.

For most of the students, it was the first time to receive an expert introduction to the rich Chinese tea culture and the traditional ways of making tea, with special attention to choosing the right water temperature for the various Chinese tea.

The event was hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Malta. The master of the event was Sun Yi, a teacher at the institute. She started the event with a brief introduction to Chinese tea culture, followed by a practical demonstration of handling the different kinds of aromatic tea leaves.

She described the central role of tea in the daily life of Chinese people and taught students how to pronounce "drink", "tea" and "good" in Mandarin. Then students were put to the test by being asked to form three different sentences with just the three words in a different order in Mandarin.

Exquisite desserts, such as mung bean cakes and fresh flower cakes with edible roses as a major ingredient, accompanied the tea tasting activities, much to the delight of the participants.

"I love Chinese tea very much," said Lexuri Vazquez, who is a third-year student majoring in international relations.

She told Xinhua that she hadn't really appreciated the difference between black and green tea before. Thanks to the tea tasting, however, this will change now, she added.

"I would love to go to China one day," Vazquez said, adding that she hoped to learn about more aspects of Chinese culture in the future.

Francesco Gellel, a first-year student majoring in European studies, shared this sentiment, telling Xinhua that the introduction to Chinese tea culture took him a step closer to this goal. "The tea tasting event was very relaxing and culturally enriching," he said.

Jackie Theuma, the office administrator of the Confucius Institute, said she had had some opportunities to taste different kinds of Chinese tea, as Ji Nengwen, the Chinese director of the institute, always shared his tea with her and her colleagues.

"Chinese tea is very nice, and I love it," Theuma said, who has been working in the institute for 11 years. Working with Chinese people, Chinese culture, and even the Chinese language had become an integral part of her life.

For her part, Sun found the success of the event inspirational. "I will spare no efforts to introduce more aspects of Chinese culture through more events for students, and further stimulate their interest in learning Chinese and understanding Chinese culture," Sun told Xinhua.

The Confucius Institute holds cultural events as part of its Chinese language teaching program, to give students an opportunity to better understand what they learn in the classroom, Ji told Xinhua.

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