St Petersburg University and Capital Normal University hold an Education and Culture Week

The Education and Culture Week of Capital Normal University (China) and St Petersburg University has been held in an online format. It included lectures, a concert and meetings devoted to the development of relations between the universities.

Capital Normal University was founded in 1954 in Beijing by the People’s Government together with the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. It is a world-class higher education institution and provides education in the humanities, sciences and technology.

The example of developing academic and cultural cooperation between St Petersburg University and China, in particular with Capital Normal University, is exemplary. We consistently open academic programmes that provide our graduates with successful careers in a wide range of areas of cooperation with the People’s Republic of China, both in science and business.

Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs

At the presentation of Capital Normal University, students learned about the opportunities for international students to study there. The representatives explained the algorithm of applying for an internship, and provided information on the process of learning Chinese in various specialities. In addition, issues of extracurricular life and everyday life of students (accommodation, meals and transport) were touched upon.

One of the main events of the cycle was a meeting of representatives of St Petersburg University and Capital Normal University academic programmes, on which it is planned to develop contacts. Associate Professor Alexey Rodionov, Senior Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies, noted that the universities have been partners for more than 20 years, cooperating mainly in the area of Russian and Chinese studies. Nevertheless, there is a great potential for further development of relations in other areas, said Alexey Rodionov. The parties discussed promising vectors of partnership, in particular on issues of joint master’s programmes. The Chinese side expressed particular interest in such subject areas as mathematics, physics, psychology, translation, music, painting and design. Staff from both universities presented their academic programmes and exchanged contacts in a dialogue format.

In addition, creative groups from Russia and China held a joint online concert. It opened with "Gaudeamus" performed by the choir of St Petersburg University. The hosts of the concert reminded that the student hymn was played at the solemn ceremony of awarding the diploma of honorary doctor of St Petersburg University to President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, which was attended by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and Rector of St Petersburg University Nikolay Kropachev.

The concert featured dance and musical numbers. The dance and musical numbers included: a performance of Louis Couperin’s prelude in imitation of Johann Jakob Froberger by Andrei Kolomiitsev, Assistant Professor in the Department of Organ, Harpsichord and Carillon at St Petersburg University; and a performance of The Flower Duet from Léo Delibes’ opera Lakmé by Tsvetana Omelchuk, Lecturer in the Department of Organ, Harpsichord and Carillon, Galina Zhukova, Associate Professor in the Department of Organ, Harpsichord and Carillon, and Sofiia Shirinkina, a student in the Academic Singing Programme. Svetana Omelchuk and Galina Zhukova presented a habanera from Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen. Associate Professor Galina Zhukova also performed melodies from Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker. Graduate musicians Nikolai Sidorov and Vera Chudinova presented Wolfram’s romance from Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser and a Bolero by Mikhail Glinka. A song from the film Amphibian Man was prepared by students from the Department of Theatre at St Petersburg University.

Professor Nikolai Samoilov, Head of Department of Theory of Social Development of Asian and African Countries at St Petersburg University, spoke about St Petersburg’s ’Chinese route’. He noted that interest in China in Russia first appeared during the times of Peter the Great, whose reign coincided with that of Emperor Kangxi. ‘Today, historians in China are trying to compare the activities of these emperors and find many similarities. They call both great, outstanding statesmen,’ commented the scholar, adding that Kangxi Emperor and Peter the Great maintained contact through diplomatic services. Moreover, gifts and books exchanged between the rulers would later form the basis of unique museum collections kept, in particular, in the Chinese halls of the Kunstkammer. Chinese objects are also kept in the Summer Palace in Peterhof, where rooms in the Chinese style were also created. The work of Peter the Great was continued by his successors in arranging the palaces. Nikolai Samoilov gave a detailed talk about the sights and objects of Chinese culture that have survived in the museums of St Petersburg. He also presented modern projects implemented by the Chinese side in St Petersburg.

The Education and Culture Week programme included lectures by academics from St Petersburg University and Capital Normal University.

Professor Liu Wenfei, Director of the Centre for the Study of Foreign Poetry and Chairman of the Academic Society for the Study of Russian Literature, began his lecture on "Russian Literature in China" with a brief account of the introduction of both Russian society to Chinese literature and Chinese society to Russian literature. In his lecture Liu Wenfei also spoke about the history of Russian literature in China. The lecturer noted that a new publication on the history of Russian literature is currently underway. ‘We are presented with a rare case in history of creating a new multi-volume general history of Russian literature in Chinese,’ the professor specified. ‘So, it is planned to publish six volumes: "Old Russian literature and literature of the 18th century", "Russian literature of the first half of the 19th century", "Russian literature of the second half of the 19th century", "Russian literature of the first half of the 20th century", "Russian literature of the second half of the 20th century" and "Modern Russian literature"’.