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Chinese Language Day celebrations held at UN office in Kenya

By celebrating the Chinese Language Day celebrations, the United Nations recognizes the rich linguistic heritage and the importance of Chinese as a global language - UN Under-Secretary-General Zainab Hawa Bangura

Members of the Nanjing University Traditional Instruments Orchestra performing during the UN Chinese Language Day gala.

A major cultural event was held Friday in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, to mark the United Nations Chinese Language Day.

The celebrations hosted at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) were graced by among others; UN Under-Secretary-General Zainab Hawa Bangura, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Zhou Pingjian, and Ma Xin, the Executive Deputy Governor of Jiangsu Province in China, among other notable guests.

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Nanjing University Traditional Instruments Orchestra as well as students from the Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi staged various performances to mark the day.

In her speech, Bangura noted the Chinese Language Days at the United Nations seek to celebrate multilateralism and cultural diversity while also promoting equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organization.

“By celebrating the Chinese Language Day celebrations, the United Nations recognizes the rich linguistic heritage and the importance of Chinese as a global language,” she said

United Nations Under-Secretary General Zainab Hawa Bangura

Bangura added; “Chinese Language Day encourages people to learn and appreciate the beauty of the Chinese language….Today we get a taste of genuine, fine art and music of Chinese culture,”

She said the day presents an opportunity to learn Chinese literature, calligraphy, and other aspects of the language.

Her sentiments were amplified by Ambassador Dr. Zhou Pingjian who said the annual event has brought to the fore the unique charm of the language and Chinese culture, opening a window for people to learn more about contemporary China and its culture.

He described the Chinese language as the symbol and carrier of Chinese cultural heritage, through which people from various parts of the world can better understand China and the Chinese people.

“Connectivity of all things and their harmony and coexistence are the ideals pursued by the Chinese nation, which are highly compatible with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter,”

“We live in an interconnected and interrelated global village, where all countries are closely linked, and the destiny of humankind is shared,” said Beijing’s top diplomat in Nairobi.

Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Dr. Zhou Pingjian

Dr. Zhou called for adherence to the principles of the UN Charter, practicing true multilateralism, and promoting exchanges and mutual understanding among civilizations while working together to promote the civilization and modernization of human society.

While emphasizing the importance of exchanges between civilizations, Ma Xin, the Executive Deputy Governor of Jiangsu Province in China, noted that “Chinese has become a bright business card for China’s excellent traditional culture to go to the world and a cultural window for the world to understand China.

“Relying on Chinese characters and the Chinese language, the story of exchanges and mutual learning between Chinese and African civilizations continues,”

 

Ma Xin, the Executive Deputy Governor of Jiangsu Province in China.

Courtesy of such exchanges, he said Africa has today become the second largest source of foreign students in Jiangsu, with about 30,000 African students studying in Jiangsu to pursue their dreams.

“We convey the charm of the Chinese language to African friends while providing a platform for learning and exchanging Chinese culture and professional skills,” he said

He said Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Civilization Initiative appreciating that the diversity of world civilizations should be respected, and strengthened, to promote the development and progress of human society jointly.

“Standing at a new historical starting point, Jiangsu will continue to use Chinese as a medium to renew and deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges, promote people-to-people understanding, and contribute to the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind,” he said

Chinese is the most widely spoken mother tongue in the world and has been the official language of the UN since its inception in 1945.

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