The Pioneer Library System begins its sixth annual celebration of literature and reading with its PLS Big Read Kickoff, March 29 at 5-6:30 p.m. The event will take place in the lobby and bar area of the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, 2501 Conference Drive, in Norman. There will be a variety of activities featured to launch a month of programs centered on Amy Tan’s novel “The Joy Luck Club.”
Chinese Lion Dancers will perform for guests. Lion dance is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture, in which performers mimic a lion’s movement in a lion costume. The St. Andrew Dung Lac Lion Dance team, a non-profit Eucharistic Youth Group of performers, have performed culturally authentic shows for the community since their inception in the late 1990s. Here is a video of the Lion Dancers performing in Oklahoma City.
Local musicians John and Leah McGaha, will be going East, and adding music on the guzheng, recorder, and drum to their standard repertoire. The guzheng is a Chinese plucked zither with 18-23 or more strings and movable bridges. It is one of the most ancient Chinese musical instruments according to documents written in the Qin dynasty (before 206 BC). The guzheng has been a popular instrument since ancient times and is considered as one of the main chamber and solo instruments of traditional Chinese music. The McGaha’s have been performing as a duet for 12 years playing a mixture of traditional Celtic tunes, folk, bluegrass, and Renaissance melodies on the fiddle, hammered dulcimer, bouzouki, and penny-whistle.
The University of Oklahoma Confucius Institute will host an informational exhibit including an interactive touch screen station to share various elements of Chinese culture. The exhibit includes Chinese ancient technology, calligraphy, food, philosophers, martial arts, scenery and Peking opera. This kicks off a larger exhibit, opening at the Norman Public Library April 1st, sponsored by a partnership between the Norman Public Library and the Confucius Institute. The OU Confucius Institute was established in 2006 as a partnership between Beijing Normal University and the University of Oklahoma to support Oklahoma educators in their efforts to teach the Chinese language, and to assist those Oklahoma businesses that wish to do business in the Chinese speaking world.