Chinese Embassy marks International Chinese Language Day
By Sulayman Waan
The Chinese Embassy in The Gambia recently celebrated International Chinese Language Day at a ceremony held at the China Cultural Corner at Nusrat Senior Secondary School in Bundunka Kunda.
The commemoration was held under the theme – ‘Chinese Language: Facilitating Dialogues across Civilizations.’
The event seeks to showcase China’s efforts at promoting the exchange and mutual appreciation of civilization. UN Chinese Language Day is observed annually on April 20. The event was adopted by the UN Department of Public Information in 2010, to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organisation.
In The Gambia, the event was characterised with a variety of Chinese cultural experiences, including learning how to write Chinese characters, Chinese dance and watching Chinese material arts.
Delivering a statement on the event, His Excellency Liu Jin, Ambassador of the Peoples’ Republic of China to The Gambia, recalled that for more than a decade, Chinese Language Day has become a common festival for Chinese language lovers around the world and a variety of cultural exchange activities are held on that day around the world.
“Language is the link of emotional communication. There are more than 2,500 ethnic groups and more than 5000 languages in the world today. This diversity is the driving force for the development of human civilization.” he said.
He said recently Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the globalisation initiative, where China advocates the respect for diversity of civilizations.
“Countries should let cultural exchanges transcend estrangement, mutual learning transcend clash and coexistence transcend feeling of superiority.”
“We also advocate for robust international people-to-people. Countries need to explore the building of a global network for inter-civilization dialogue and cooperation, and to jointly advance the progress of human civilizations.” he said.
Ambassador Jin reminded that Chinese is one of the oldest and most widely spoken languages in the world, saying the language has been used by the Chinese since the beginning of Chinese civilization about 5000 years ago.
“It carries the history, tradition and culture of China, which makes it a golden key to understand China.” he said.
He equally spoke highly of the fruitful friendship between China and The Gambia, saying the two countries have had a long history and better relationship.
“This year, we will invite around 300 Gambian friends to go to China, including outstanding students who will receive Chinese Government Scholarship to study in China.” he announced.
Also speaking at the event, Mamadi Ceesay, principal of Nusrat Senior Secondary School, described Chinese language as one of the most spoken languages worldwide, saying it has a unique structure and an intricate writing pattern that has dazzled people, especially linguists for centuries.
He thanked the Chinese Embassy officials in The Gambia through Nusrat Senior Secondary School for the golden opportunity to tap from the vast openings emanating from the world’s manufacturing hub-China.