On Wednesday, 15th February, the Confucius Institute at the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) organized a colorful ceremony to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival, which is also commonly referred to as the Chinese New Year.
Chief Guest on the occasion was You Yi, Cultural Counselor of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China. Attendees included Director General NUML Brig. Riaz Ahmed Gondal, Executive Director Pakistan-China Institute Mustafa Hyder Sayed, as well as heads of different schools, reporters from media and news agencies, and a large number of students and teachers from various educational institutions in and around Islamabad.
In his keynote speech, the cultural counselor lauded the efforts of the Confucius Institute and stated that it was playing a key role in the promotion of Chinese culture in Pakistan. He explained that the Spring Festival is a time of celebration for Chinese people, who spend it with their families to start the year with good luck and prosperity. He further added that the increased exchange of language and culture in recent times had helped to strengthen the bond between Pakistan and China, and thanked the Confucius Institute and NUML for organizing such a vibrant and colorful event.
Addressing the audience, the Director General said that NUML is proud to be a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He explained that under CPEC, the NUML International Center of Education (NICE) was being established at the Xinjiang Normal University to teach various languages to the Chinese people in addition to Urdu and English. He also announced that NUML would set up its campus at Gwadar, the opposite end of the CPEC route, to teach Chinese language to the locals, in order to gain maximum advantage out of this project.
The opening speeches were followed by a variety of colorful performances on the Spring Festival and Chinese culture by students of various schools in the twin cities, including City School, Beaconhouse, The Lynx School, Headstart, and Roots School System. The performances not only depicted various aspects of Chinese culture and tradition, but also represented the culture of the different provinces of Pakistan.
The Chinese New Year of 2017, or the ‘Year of the Rooster’, began on the 28th of January this year and will go on till the 15th of February next year.
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