London holds Chinese Language Day event

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 12, 2023
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More than 100 British secondary school students and teachers participated in an International Chinese Language Day event in London on Thursday.

The event, hosted by the Chinese Bridge Club and the Chinese Proficiency Test UK Committee, marked the end of the 2023 International Chinese Language Day activities across Britain.

Teachers of six Confucius Institutes from London, Oxford and Nottingham brought different workshops showcasing traditional Chinese culture, covering Chinese calligraphy, paper folding, paper painting and rubbing, Chinese opera face painting and Chinese Kongfu, among other activities.

Braam Botha, a year nine student from St. Catherine College, told Xinhua that he has been learning Chinese and showed calligraphy he wrote on a fan.

Sam Hardy, a student from the School of Oriental & African Studies at the University of London, the event presenter, said he was fascinated by Chinese opera face painting.

"It's a fantastic event, a fantastic opportunity for these kids," he said.

Hardy said he is looking forward to going to China for further study and exploring the diverse cultures of Chinese ethnic minorities.

"Given all of the creative arts (of the workshops) that the young people are participating in, each has their own unique special features, which actually expand the horizons of the young people who are enjoying them," Joan Deslandes, head teacher of Kingsford Community School in east London, told Xinhua.

"In our increasingly globalized world, I believe that it is incredibly beneficial to identify and to celebrate different cultures, not as a distant aspect of a contained curriculum, but as a clear and present aspect of our everyday lives," said Deslandes.

"Mutual understanding and learning among civilizations are essential," she added.

"For me, people-to-people dialogue is the bedrock of the relationship between different countries," Katharine Carruthers, director of the UCL Institute of Education Confucius Institute for Schools, told Xinhua.

"Chinese children learning English and British children learning Chinese, this will result in the next generation supporting the understanding between our two countries," Carruthers said. "The first step is the language to understand each other, and then intercultural understanding follows."

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