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On 24 March, a public lecture on "The Bodhisattva Ideal in China: history and present" was given by Gediminas Giedraitis, a PhD student at the University of Eötvös-Loránd (Hungary) and a researcher on Chinese Buddhism. The lecture covered the establishment of Buddhism in China, the concept of bodhisattva, the basic concepts, as well as an overview of the fundamental texts of Mahayana Buddhism.

On 15 March, we opened the doors of the Confucius Institute of Vilnius University wide to the pro-gymnasiums of the capital. Seventh-graders from Vilnius Simon Daukantos pro-Gymnasium came to take part in the first educational programme organised this spring. This time, we offered three themes: ghosts and ancestor worship in China, an introduction to the martial arts of the Shaolin Monastery, and a short introductory lesson on Chinese characters.

Anyone interested in the Chinese philosophies of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism has probably wondered how they coexist together and what kind of debates arise between them. On 3rd of March, Dr. Tadas Snuviškis, a researcher of Eastern philosophical systems and religions (Lithuanian Culture Research Institute), gave a public lecture entitled "Looking at Three Chinese Philosophies: The Polemics of Confucianism and Taoism with Buddhism" in which he discussed the basic characteristics of the three philosophies and the controversies that have emerged between them ever since Buddhism spread to China. 

The Confucius Institute at Vilnius University presents the project "The World of Daoist Ideas in Laozi Texts" and invites you to get acquainted with the teachings of one of the most famous Chinese sages Laozi (老子,Lǎozǐ), whose wisdom has not only been a major influence in shaping the Chinese worldview and culture, but also has influenced the whole region of East Asia, and has gained interest in other parts of the world. We have selected 20 of the sage's most famous quotes to be featured on posters and will share one of them with you every week on Facebook.

On 3rd of February, a book presentation-discussion took place: "Christ and Confucius: an Educational Dialogue", which was attended by prof. rev. Romualdas Dulskis, dr. Vytis Silius (Sun Yat-sen University, China) and prof. Audrius Beinorius (Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, Vilnius University). During the event, books by prof. rev. Romualdas Dulskis were presented: “The Gospel of Confucius. The Confucian Way of Wisdom and Its Importance for Christianity” (2021) and “Confucius and Christ. The Confucian Vision of the Human Vocation for the Christian Context” (2018), participants discussed the main ideas of the books. 

Recently, we have been getting a lot of queries about what Taiwanese language is, and whether it is possible to communicate with them in standard Chinese. So, we continue our exploration of the Chinese language and introduce the differences between pǔtōnghuà 普通话 in mainland China and guóyǔ 國語 in Taiwan. Both pǔtōnghuà and guóyǔ are phonologically based on the Beijing dialect. There are slight differences in pronunciation, in the meanings of certain words and in characters.

On the last Friday before the Christmas holiday, we prepared a gift for our university’s 1st and 2nd year sinology students and invited them to the first distance calligraphy workshop. It seems that in times of pandemic we are already used to studying and working remotely, but trying calligraphy is both a new experience and perhaps another incentive to improve.

Since ancient times, Chinese have been concerned about happiness. The concept of happiness is a crucial part of Chinese religion, which is clearly seen in Chinese superstitions, fateful numbers, signs of happiness and so on. According to Confucianism, the concept of happiness in Chinese culture is adherence to the moral basis of liberating oneself from wealth and honor, which helps to experience true existential joy or happiness “lè” (乐).

Recently, we celebrated All Saints 'Day in Lithuania, when we visited the graves of loved ones and remembered those who are not among us. On November 10th in the lecture “Ancestor Worship and Funeral Customs in Chinese Culture” delivered by Balys Astrauskas, a PhD student at Vilnius University, Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, junior assistant, we presented the burial traditions of the Chinese, the importance of ancestral worship in China and the differences between burial customs and Lithuanian traditions.

William Shakespeare (1564–1616) is arguably one of the most famous English poets and dramatists, whose name is still heard today, and tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet have become an inspiration to directors and filmmakers around the world. And did you know that China had “its own” Shakespeare during the same period?

On the 6th of October, Confucius Institute held an online lecture, "Is Traditional Chinese Medicine a Science?“. In this lecture, a doctor, acupuncturist, and doctor of medical sciences, Dainius Butvilas, reviewed the most important aspects of Traditional Chinese medicine and compared Traditional Chinese medicine with Western medicine. In this lecture, the main question was whether Chinese medicine is a science and what place this treatment system holds in the medical world.

At the Confucius Institute on the 25th of September, we held a public lecture with a practice session to get familiar with the martial arts of the legendary Shaolin Monastery and its traditions. This topic was presented by the speaker Tomas Lapinskas, the official representative of the Shaolin Monastery in the Baltic States.

Every year, during the spring, our institute hosts the “Confucius Institute Open Days,” where visitors had the opportunity to experience Chinese culture live. This year, we introduced Chinese culture remotely on the Zoom platform.

May 26 in the second on Chinese society assoc. Prof. L. Poškaitė's lecture "Transformations of Traditional Masculine Ideals in Modern China", it was interesting to hear about the discourse of the "masculinity crisis" in China since the 20th century. The lecturer began her lecture by emphasizing the non-problematic approach to masculinity that has prevailed in China for quite some time.

Last week we had the opportunity to get acquainted in detail with the women of modern Chinese society doc. L. Poškaitė's lecture "Stereotypes of Femininity and New Images in Contemporary China: From Excessive Femininity to Androgyny".

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