Immerse yourself in China Week

Chinese markets in Beaumont Street? Sarah James looks at why you need to check out all the events happening as part of Newcastle China Week. 

Close that Webjet browser. Put away the travel catalogues. No need to jump on that plane. China is coming to you!

Newcastle China Week is returning for 2016, running from Saturday 17th to Sunday 25th of September, celebrating both traditional and contemporary Chinese culture.

The event is a result of a partnership between the University of Newcastle’s Confucius Institute, Newcastle City Council and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. The Confucius Institute is the primary deliverer of Chinese literacy programs in the Hunter, and works closely with community partners to strengthen and expand exchange and cooperation between Newcastle and China.

University Director of Strategic Institution Relations (Greater China), Rhys Palmer said, “Newcastle China Week celebrates our region’s growing economic, cultural and social ties with China and is a chance to experience and learn more about this fascinating country.”

“Many of our international students who choose to live in Newcastle while studying at the University are from China. On returning home they remember their time and experience in Newcastle with great fondness and are great ambassadors for Newcastle.”

image0019.jpg
Image provided by the Confucius Institute.

From delectable Chinese cuisine to trade talks, blockbuster films both on the big screen and outdoors, and a bustling pop-up Chinatown in Hamilton, Newcastle China Week is expected to attract over 30,000 locals and visitors with its program of events in 2016.

Not sure where to begin? Here’s the full list of events.

Noodle Night Market and Outdoor Cinema | Saturday 17th September, Gregson Park.

To kick off the week, once the sun has set Hamilton will transform into a hawker-style Noodle Night Market and outdoor cinema, bringing the sights, sounds and smells of authentic Asian cuisine to the Hunter Region.

Food trucks will be out in droves, as well as a lantern decorated marquee designed to provide a communal festival dining experience. The main stage will feature keytar superstar Dyan Tai, known for his colourful performance and style. A Tibetan Dance will be performed by students from Whitebridge High before the moonlight screening of ‘The Monkey King: Hero is back’  at 6:30pm. Sprocket coffee roasters and cinema snacks will also be on site, so bring along your picnic blankets and get settled in!

You can also support the Rotary Club of Newcastle by purchasing a glowing lantern or toy monkey.

image0024
Image provided by the Confucius Institute.

Film Festival | Thursday 22nd – Saturday 24th September, Towers Cinema.

Stereotypical images of kung fu and dynasty drama are bound to be shattered, as three films will be featured showcasing modern-day life in China.

This year’s flicks from the burgeoning Chinese international cinema include:

  • American Dreams in China: Inspired by David Fincher’s The Social Network, this film is based on the true story of a visionary Chinese entrepreneur.
  • Go Away Mr Tumor: A dark comedy based on the real life experiences of a cartoonist who, after being diagnosed with cancer, authored a popular web comic that became a huge sensation in China.
  • Mr. Six: An epic crime drama that has been compared to The Godfather and Gran Torino, this high-energy and fast-paced film will leave a lasting impression.

“These three modern films will give locals a taste of the creativity, imagination and rich storylines of the Chinese film industry. These events help us increase community awareness of the value of film and its place in storytelling, social commentary and recording history as well as strengthening Newcastle and the Hunter region as a strong film, digital and arts community,” said festival collaborator and manager of Screen Hunter, Annette Hubber.

image0160
Image provided by the Confucius Institute.

Chinese Business Forum | Thursday 22nd September, Newcastle Exhibition and Convention Centre.

For all you budding entrepreneurs and CEOs, take the opportunity to get to know the growing business connections between China and the Hunter Region. Australia’s top business leaders will provide exclusive insight, tips, case studies and knowledge on seizing Asia’s largest economy targeted at local business professionals, entrepreneurs, students and start-ups.

“The aim of the 2016 China Week Business Forum is to build our collective capabilities and capacity to promote important economic, cultural and people-to-people links between China and the Hunter region,” Rhys said.

Pop-Up Chinatown Street Festival | Sunday 25th September, Beaumont Street.

Newcastle China Week celebrations will conclude with a colourful and vibrant Shanghai-inspired marketplace on Beaumont Street from 10am to 3pm.

Hosted by comedian Michael Hing, the event will feature a mix of traditional and contemporary performances, food stalls and interactive cultural activities and skills workshops.

The Confucius Institute will completely immerse you in the cultural experience through Tai Chi displays, Chinese language classes, hands-on demonstrations and workshops on paper cutting and folding. There will even be the chance to learn how to make dumplings!

So what are you waiting for? For more information on these events, please visit Newcastle China Week’s website.

Feature Image: provided by Confucius Institute.