by Jing Zhao Cesarone
CHICAGO, March 5 (Xinhua) -- From sparkling costumes, elegant dance moves, melodic folk songs, to classic Beijing Opera, a stunning visual feast of Chinese culture dazzled many Chicagoans on Friday night at a concert sponsored by the Confucius Institute in Chicago (CIC).
This speaks a lot about the locals' growing enthusiasm in learning Chinese inspired by Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the Wind City in January.
During the concert at Walter Payton College Preparatory High School which President Hu once visited, students from 42 area public schools, along with their administrators, teachers and parents, reveled together for the first time, still riding the wave of excitement set in motion by Hu's visit.
"It was a magnificent performance!" said Terry Mazany, Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools who took his wife to attend this special celebration. "The beauty, the voices, the dance, the culture, the stories that they told --this is just a remarkable evening," he said.
"The concert brought all of the beauty of Chinese culture. It made Chinese culture real and brought it to life. It also showed the richness and depth of the heritage of Chinese people. Learning Chinese is valuable beyond just mastering a second language, but it is preparing our children for the 21st century."