On October 5, the Festival of Chinese culture "Confucius Institutes Day" was held in the Upper City. This year, it was dedicated to the topic of education and development of cooperation in this sphere of Belarus and the Celestial Empire, the "Minsk-Novosti" Agency correspondent reports.
By the number of guests at the Festival, one can confidently state: Belarusian schoolchildren and students’ interest in learning the Chinese language and culture has been growing. Those who have already achieved certain successes in mastering hieroglyphs demonstrated their achievements and creative performances today.
On the site at the City Hall there were several tents with expositions of two Chinese companies, two independent classes and four Confucius institutes. They invited the guests of the Festival to learn something new. For example, eat ... with Chinese chopsticks! For this, they prepared a master class: first, a girl in a national costume of the Celestial Empire showed how to hold bamboo sticks correctly, and then she handed them to the participants in the holiday. All they had to do was to shift nuts from one plate to another with an unusual for a Belarussian device. From the first time it did not work for everyone. Some participants had to take many attempts and have remarkable endurance, until they finally managed to catch their first nut and squeeze it between two sticks. And in the next tent, meanwhile, other participants were taught to play Chinese chess and draw hieroglyphs.
On the site near the concert hall "Upper City" the audience was entertained by the fire-breathing dragon. The traditional Chinese symbol, dancing and wriggling to the sounds of the drum, gave warmth and happiness. At least that is how a student from China who was among the audience next to me interpreted the show.
The opening ceremony of the Festival of Confucius Institutes was attended by Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Belarus Tsui Tsimin and Deputy Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee Artem Tsuran.
"On behalf of the City Executive Committee and residents of the capital I thank the Chinese Embassy for the enormous contribution to the friendship of our peoples and the development of bilateral relations. And to all who are here - good mood!"- A. Tsuran greeted the guests of the Festival.
"Thank you for coming to celebrate Confucius Institute Day with us," Tsui Tsimin thanked the residents of the city. "Today, Sino-Belarusian relations are developing dynamically and successfully, especially in culture and education. This is the best period in history. Interest of young people in the study of national languages of both countries is great. In China, more than 10 centers of Belarusian culture have been opened. And in Belarus - five Confucius Institutes and several Confucius classes. Language and culture is a bridge of friendship between our peoples. Sa Sviatam! (Happy holiday!)"
The concert program was opened by the dance "Fonary" (lanterns) prepared by students of the Faculty of Chinese Language and Culture of the Minsk State Linguistic University. The bright and colourful festival of lanterns - one of the most ancient - is celebrated in the Celestial Empire on the 15th day of the first month according to the lunar calendar. All houses must be decorated with them. By the way, the Upper City had also changed by the day of the Festival: Chinese red lanterns, generously hung around the site at the Minsk City Hall, gave it an elegant, slightly mysterious look.
"These days, the Chinese people are celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China. We dedicate our today's holiday to this Anniversary. Why do Confucius Institutes work for us? Belarus and China have enormous potential for cooperation, but in order to realize it, we must know each other," said Anatoly Tozik, Director of the Confucius Republican Institute of Chinese Studies at the Belarusian State University, Chairman of the Belarusian-Chinese Friendship Society.
The Festival of culture of the Celestial Empire lasted till 17:00. For the guests of the Festival, they had prepared a program filled with Chinese flavour - with songs, dances, wushu, a tea ceremony and, of course, national cuisine.