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Confucianism, Contemporary Chinese Culture and Mandarin

12 Feb 2015

A session for colleagues new to engaging with China on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 (9.30am – 12.30pm) in Samuel Alexander Building, Room tbc

Designed for those new or relatively new to engaging with China (research or teaching collaboration, professional support engagement, conference attendance etc) and in response to the development of the University’s China Strategy, this session is designed to enable participants to:

  1. Learn about the basics of Chinese history and culture;
  2. Develop an awareness of Chinese social mores;
  3. Become more confident in interacting with Chinese people;
  4. Learn how to fit into Chinese culture as a visitor;
  5. Learn to use some basic Mandarin to improve the interaction with Chinese colleagues.

The session will be made up two parts; a talk on Confucianism and its influence on contemporary Chinese culture with Q&A time for practical tips, followed by one hour Mandarin practice where you will learn the basic greetings and useful phrases.

Chinese culture is often described as Confucian, an attribute that links contemporary practices to philosophies developed by the sage Confucius and his followers in the 5th century BC. The links between now and then are complex, and the history of Confucianism and its ideas about how people should behave is not nearly as smooth as one might imagine. Yet at the same time, the emphasis that Confucianism places on the values of relationships and the importance of propriety in conducting them is something that resonates with many Chinese people even today. So despite the turbulence of history, especially in the revolutions of the 20th century, it could be said that Confucian philosophy is highly relevant in contemporary China. This session aims to give attendees a better sense of how to interact with Chinese people.


The training workshop has been developed by the Confucius Institute at The University of Manchester.

The workshop will be delivered by:

  • Dr William Schroeder, Lecturer in Chinese Studies and specialist on Sociocultural Anthropology
  • Ma Bingyan, language tutor at the Confucius Institute, seconded from Beijing Normal University