Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Confucius he say: next stop Edinburgh

From the Scotsman:
"THERE is a reason why Confucius is celebrated as one of the world's greatest philosophers. Perception of his kind may now seem like the stuff of insincere greeting cards, but as a nation of underdogs Scots could do with more wisdom from whence this pearl came: "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

The good news direct from Beijing is that Scotland will soon get a touch of the great sage. Yesterday it was announced that a new Confucius Institute is to be opened at Edinburgh University later this year. Offering classes in Mandarin and Chinese culture, it will operate with similar ideals to the British Council, or Germany's Goethe Institutes, by promoting their home nation's culture overseas.

It will be the first institute of its kind in the UK - although centres have already opened in Stockholm, Brussels and Vancouver - and will be one of the 100 centres the Chinese Education Ministry intends to establish around the world by 2010."
Edinburgh University has produced such luminaries as big Gordy, my sister and, um, my mum's next door neighbour, amongst others - and my father used to teach there. So having a sort of connection with the place, I reckon this is good news - with the proviso that the culture they're promoting wouldn't be their 20th and 21st century political culture.

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