Birds are hopping and twittering among twigs as azalea flowers are blossoming in a wide array of colors. Spring has descended upon us. NTU's annual grandiose event—the Azalea Festival, is slated to debut in March. At 9 a.m. on the 7th of March, in the square by the front gate of the main campus, President Si-Chen Lee will officiate the opening ceremony for the Azalea Festival, which will be kicked off by overtures performed by the NTU Chinese Orchestra, international students from Nepal, and toddlers from the NTU Affiliated Kindergarten. Also, in the opening ceremony outstanding NTU youths will receive public commendation.
In the meantime, Departmental Expo and the Student Associations Fair will be held on Marcy 7th and 8th. All the 54 departments participating in the Expo will have their booths set up in the Sports Center (the Taida little arena), providing vivid displays and detailed explanatory information on the departments' curriculum, faculty, and future development directly to the visitors. And, at the perimeters surrounding the Sports Center and on the roads by the sports ground, the Student Associations Fair will launch a series of exciting activities to demonstrate the pluralistic and vivacious extracurricular life at NTU. All visitors are welcome to have a sampling.
This year's Azalea Festival is anchored around the themes of "integration of science and humanities" and "cross cultural encounters", and the main purpose of which are to emphasize the necessity for intercultural exchange and the inevitability of cross-cultural nourishment. In the realm of science, 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's important book on evolution—"The Origin of Species". In addition to the many activities being staged in England, there are also a wide variety of commemorative activities being carried out in the world. To celebrate Darwin's 200th birthday, NTU plans the following events:
The College of Life-sciences will hold a Life Science Rite, which includes book fair, guided tours and lectures on popular science. For the exhibitions on popular science, a small exhibition area will be set up on the first floor of the Life Science Hall and in the animal specimens room, wherein Darwin's biographical data and the evidences of the theory of evolution will be put on display.
From March 13th to `15th, the Dongjianti Ensemble will present British playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker's recent work "After Darwin" in collaboration with NTU's Theatre Department. Faculty, students and the general public are welcome to come see this play and give comments. In coordination with the NTU Art Festival, several exhibitions will be launched, including: "The Eternal Darwin" visual art competition, the Special Exhibition on Bio-Art, the Evolutionary Themes Exhibition and the Ecological Photography of Galapagos Islands , etc. The exhibition dates for the above are from May 1st to 15th, and the venues are the exhibition room at the basement of the 1st Student Activity Center and the Multi-media room at the main library.
In the realm of humanities and arts, the NTU Center for Arts invites winner of the 2006 Golden Melody Award in the category of "Best Pop Instrumental Album" Mr. Shao-Ying Lin to produce a concert for the 2009 Azalea Festival. Entitled " Tunes of the Wind," this concert pays respect to the unique characteristics of each musical instrument, and in the concert human voices and instrumental sounds from different cultures encounter with one another much like the various frequencies in Mother Nature. In this manner, a new rhythmic style is created, as it flows with the wind in the direction of its own choice, the beauty of cross cultural encounter is realized.