Crafting with the Confucius Institute

To provide students insight on Chinese culture, the Confucius Institute hosted an origami night in which students had the opportunity to fold paper lotus flowers and talk about the differences between American and Chinese culture.

Maggie Deng and Clarissa Sun taught the students how to make the lotus flowers and educated them on Chinese culture.  The process has been described as complicated. There were 21 pieces of paper and one rubber band. Each of the participants were able to create a cultural piece of art.

Buddhism is the predominant religion in China, which is where the lotus flower derives its meaning. The Buddha is often pictured sitting on the lotus flower. “It grows from the mud, but it is still clean and beautiful,” Deng said.

Sun, who has worked with many students over the years, has used the symbolic meaning of the lotus to empower students that come from challenging backgrounds or situations.

“If you come from a bad environment, you can still grow and become wonderful,” Sun said.

It was easy to see that the students had enjoyed talking to the instructors and learning more about life in China.

“It was fun to find out how to make this craft, but it was also really cool to learn about the Chinese culture and how this craft relates to it,” freshman environmental engineering major Melissa Karch said.