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Tree Planting at the Chinese Cultural Gardens

On Wednesday, September 17th, we had a real treat when we attended the annual Tree Planting in the Chinese Cultural Gardens which is located on west of the Cleveland Art Museum on Martin Luther King Drive apart from the other gardens. The tree was being planted to celebrate Confucius' Birthday and Cleveland Teacher Appreciation Day which will not actually be until September 26th but as our good friend Dr. Anthony Yen, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Confucius Institute as CSU, told us no one could be sure what the weather was going to be on September 26th so they wisely decided to do it on this day which was beautiful.

Actually Mr. Chris Duperow, Nursery Manager at Petitti Garden Center in Avon planted three trees today; the other two were replacements for trees that died over our last two winters. Mr. Duperow and Petitti's have worked a long time with the Confucius Institute on this annual project and he promised to come back next week with three more trees for the Chinese Cultural Garden. Dr. Yen was most appreciative of his efforts.

It was a small, intimate time which made it all the more special. We were there as were Dr. Yen and his wife Mrs. Josianne Yen along with several people from the Confucius Institute including Ms. Elizabeth Miller, Assistant Director for Educational Research. In addition there were our friends, Ms. Lisa Wong from OCA and, of course, Mr. Dan Hanson and Ms. Debbie Hanson from who, as we have said before, are always a welcome inclusion.

There are about 100 Confucius Institutes in the United States (including 4 in Ohio) but Dr. Yen and Ms. Miller told us that ,as far as they know, the Confucius Institute of Cleveland is the only one in the U.S. that celebrates the birthday of Confucius, the teacher, and puts on a Teacher Appreciation Day. On September 26th about 800 schoolchildren will be transported to CSU for a special program.

When asked about what the most important thing was that he learned from Confucius, Dr. Yen said that "equity" was certainly one of them because Confucius said that everyone has the right to be educated regardless of his/her position in life. He also mentioned that Confucius instructed people not just to sell products but to teach others how to make them and thus China taught the world about silk, porcelain, and paper.

Dr. Yen thanked Ms. Margaret W. Wong for her contribution to the Chinese Cultural Gardens which several of us had a tough time finding due to the detours and its short distance from the other gardens. But Dr. Yen assured us that this would not always be the case because its location will be along the new Euclid Corridor which will connect the East and West Campuses of CWRU. We liked hearing this because the Chinese Cultural Garden and its surroundings are very beautiful and we want them to be seen and shared by all.

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