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Tea drinking, Lion dance parade and dancing at the Durham City Year of the Tiger celebrations

As a global University, with staff and students from over 120 countries, we were delighted to take part in celebrations across Durham City centre on 5 February to welcome the Year of the Tiger. This event marked a particular highlight in Durham’s varied cultural calendar.

Working locally to connect globally

Durham Global Alliance LogoThe event was co-ordinated by the Durham Global Alliance, a collaborative partnership of local stakeholders, including the University, Durham County Council, schools, colleges, and arts, sporting and business organisations.

Together, the Durham Global Alliance works to promote and develop international opportunities for young people, and has joined the British Council’s Internatioanlism Alliance which pledges: We want to offer every child and young person in the United Kingdom, whatever their background or interests, the opportunity to learn from – and connect with – other people in the UK and around the world.

We are proud to be part of the Durham Global Alliance. Durham is recognised as one of the world’s leading universities, as shown by our recent position of 26th in the Times Higher Education (THE) International Universities ranking 2022.

Culture and outreach

Visitors to the city on 5 February experienced a colourful array of events and activities from East Asia. The focal point was a spectacular Chinese lion dance procession through the city centre, with participation from local primary schools.

People were able to enjoy a full and engaging programme, including Chinese song and dance, Tai Chi demonstrations, and traditional crafts. There were food and tea tasting sessions, and young children gathered at the Clayport Library for interactive story-telling sessions.

University students offered Chinese language taster sessions, while our Oriental Museum enabled younger visitors to get hands on with some Chinese objects from our collections.

The festive atmosphere across Durham was evident, with families, young people, students and older members of the community all coming together to enjoy the celebrations and learn more about East Asian culture.

One University student commented on Instagram: “As a student of Chinese descent, Lunar New Year is dear to my heart... Attending the festivities in town today made me feel quite at home, and it was heartwarming to see the people of Durham learning and appreciating Asian culture. “

No ordinary county

Events such as this demonstrate the region’s commitment to culture, affirming County Durham’s place as one of eight locations bidding for the title of UK City of Culture 2025.

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