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Our 2021 Lunch and Learn Workshops: Results and Recaps

Our 2021 Lunch and Learn Workshops: Results and Recaps

The survey results are in: China Institute’s Mandarin Lunch and Learn Workshops are a big success!

During the pandemic, our School of Chinese Studies launched a new, free, online series exploring the joys of Chinese poetry and bringing together a community of Mandarin speakers to practice their language skills, network, and share their passions for Chinese language and culture with one another. After our most recent 2021 session in May, we distributed a survey to learn more about how to better refine future workshops and gauge the impact of previous installments. We could not be happier to hear from you and are sharing key findings and testimonials with you.

What did people say about our workshops?

94 percent of survey respondents agreed: It expands my understanding of Chinese culture

91 percent agree: I can join the program remotely online

70 percent agree: I have an exposure to Chinese classical poetry

From our community about Lunch and Learn workshops:

“These programs have been a bright light in the dark days of pandemic.”

“I always learn something new from this. Not from just the course instructor, but also from others knowledgeable participants with their questions and insights on the topics.”

“The leaders make sure that everyone benefits and is comfortable whether they have lived in China for 50 years or, like me, know very little about China, the culture, or the language!”


You are also invited to see the recaps of our 2021 sessions and to join us for our next session on June 4. Participants will enjoy live, interactive learning sessions with our language and cultural experts from home.

The monthly online Lunch and Learn program in 2021 started with a read-aloud in Mandarin of a carefully selected classical poem which represents both a touchstone to Chinese culture as well as text for practicing Mandarin language and pronunciation. The poems in Spring 2021 were also deliberately selected for the introduction of four quintessential Chinese arts, namely 琴 (qin), 棋(Chinese Go), 书(calligraphy), and 画(brush painting) known since 4th century as the “scholars companions” in China. Four guest artists were invited to present and demonstrate each art while participants enjoyed interactions with the artists live online.

Past 2021 Workshops:

Host: Shenzhan Liao, Head of the School of Chinese Studies at China Institute

Facilitator: Yongqiang Lin, guest teacher from East China Normal University, China


February 5 (Session 15: 古诗十九首:迢迢牵牛星 and the Ox in Chinese Art):

Poem: 19 Old Poems: Faraway Lies that Start, the Oxherd 古诗十九首:迢迢牵牛星, by Anonymous 无名氏

Culture: The Ox in Chinese Art 中国画里的牛

Guest: Sungsook Setton, Korean-American artist and calligrapher. She serves on the faculty of the China Institute in Manhattan and the Art League of Long Island.


March 5 (Session 16: A Farewell to a Friend):

Poem: A Farewell to a Friend 送友人 by Li Bai 李白

Culture: Calligraphy 书法

Guest: Cao Chuan, who having studied studio art in the U.S. is passionate about Bronze Inscriptions, Seal Script (金文/大篆,小篆) and Wei Style (魏碑) Calligraphy. He studies and practices calligraphy and has taught, presented, and showcased calligraphy at China Institute and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.


April 2 (Session 17: Sending Off Mr. Yuan to Anxi):

Poem: Sending Off Mr. Yuan to Anxi, by Wang Wei 王维

Culture:Qin 琴

Guest: Zhou Yi, pipa/qin soloist, performs widely both in the U.S. and internationally. An enthusiastic music educator and pipa instructor at Music at China Institute, Zhou Yi gives lectures and workshops to a wide range of students at NYU, public schools, and libraries. Ms. Zhou graduated from Shanghai Conservatory of Music and is currently the artistic director of the Ba Ban Chinese Music Society of NY.


May 8 (Session 18: Appointment):

Poem: Appointment 约客, by Zhao Shixiu 赵师秀

Culture:Chinese Go 棋

Guest:Ryan Li, Professional 3 Dan Go player in the North American Go Federation, and Vice President of the New York Institute of Go. Ryan is currently pursuing PhD at Yale University in atmospheric sciences. He also teaches regularly at the annual US Go Congress.




Register for our June session and see all prior workshops with links to poems!