More than 30 participants from the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS), Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) visited the Fujian Province of Southern China from 8 October to 17 October 2012.
Initiated by Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, a key supporter of UTAR Centre for Chinese Studies Research, the main purpose of the 10-day “Minnan Cultural Study Tour” was to conduct an in-depth study on the historical development of the renowned Chinese philosopher Zhu Xi and also to study Minnan culture. Zhu Xi, a Confucian scholar who became the leading figure of the school of principle and the most influential rationalist Neo-Confucian in China has contributed widely in the field of ancient south Fujian culture, Chinese philosophy and Chinese administration.
Professor Dr Ho Khai Leong, Dean of ICS said, “Minnan is a subgroup of the Chinese language spoken by community from Southern China, which has a deep historical background and rich in terms of philosophies. The research on Minnan culture is to enrich and foster better understanding on the tradition of Minnan culture among diverse communities.”
“This is also an opportunity for students to enhance their learning experiences abroad and to discover Minnan culture and some other elements of culture in Fujian,” he added.
During the insightful visit, the students were also taken around the Province of Fujian to visit several places of interest. Among some of the places they visited were the Fuzhou’s Three Lanes and Seven Alleys (Sanfang QiXiang), Fuzhou’s Mawei Shipping Culture, Wu Yi Mountain, Zhu Zhi’ s Hometown Zhe Yang Building, Xin Xian Book Gallery, Huaqiao University, Wuyi University, Museum of Overseas Communications History, Quanzhou, Jiangeng Park, Jimei Turtle Garden and the Xiamen University.
Minnan cultural research is one of the key research projects organised by ICS jointly with Xiamen University, China, and National Cheng Kung University and National Quemoy University of Taiwan. The research is sponsored by Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Yeoh Tiong Lay, founder and group executive chairman of YTL Corporation Berhad.