Chinese Language in Canada— Sidelights for Mr. Li Changchun on the Inauguration of the Confucius Institute at Carleton University
April 19th, 2012 - Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, attends the unveiling ceremony of the Confucius Institute at Carleton University. Li Changchun delivers a speech at the ceremony. (By Wang Lei, Xinhua News Agency)
Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, attends the unveiling ceremony of the Confucius Institute at Carleton University on April 19, 2012. Li Changchun unveils the plaque for the Confucius Institute at Carleton University. (By Wang Lei, Xinhua News Agency)
State-to-state relations thrive when there is friendship between the peoples. And such friendship grows out of close interactions between the peoples.
Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, unveiled the plaque for the Confucius Institute at Carleton University out of his very tight schedule during his official goodwill visit in Canada and said that "China is far apart from Canada, but hearts of the two peoples are closely linked together."
The town hall of Ottawa, Capital of Canada was defined by beautiful flowers and joyous atmosphere on April 19 local time. The national flags of China and Canada added beauty to each other and the Chinese language materials, books about Chinese culture brought by the Chinese delegation were placed neatly. The rare gifts witness the traditional friendship between peoples of China and Canada.
Li Changchun was warmly welcomed by indigenous Canada people performing traditional dance, smiling students of the Confucius Institute at Carleton University who wore traditional Chinese-style clothing with banners in hands when he arrived the town hall at about 15:00 in the afternoon. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, Carleton President Roseann O'Reilly Runte, Director-General of Hanban Mdm. Xu Lin, Secretary of the Party Committee of Central China Normal University Ma Min waited Li Changchun at the doorway. Over 200 teachers and students stood up and welcomed him with rhythmic applauses.
Carleton President Roseann O'Reilly Runte made a remark at the beginning. She extended her warm welcome to the delegation led by Li Changchun with famous remarks of Confucius "Isn't it a delight to have friends coming from afar" and "Isn't it a pleasure to learn with constant perseverance and practice what you have learned". Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson noted in his address that Canada-China relationship has become one of the most important inter-state relations and the establishment of the Confucius Institute at Carleton University is well-timed.
As the focus of all attention, Li Changchun stepped onto the stage and delivered a speech. He began by offering congratulations to Carleton University and President Runte and welcoming the Institute as a new member of global Confucius Institutes.
His simple words and sincerity immediately caught teachers and students of Carleton University. He went on to say that language services as a bridge for cultural exchanges. And as China's economy continues to grow, Canadian youngsters have developed ever increasing enthusiasm in learning Chinese language and culture. As the Confucius Institute located in the Canada capital, he hoped both sides can work to run well the Confucius Institute and start from language teaching to put in place a comprehensive platform for cultural communication and cooperation and the Confucius Institute can be used as a base to reach out to the public, providing quality service for local residents and bringing out the unique role of the Confucius Institute in promoting friendly cooperation between China and Canada.
Li's best wishes for the Confucius Institute represent the aspiration of all people presented at the ceremony, winning rounds of ardent applauds.
"I bring with me 5,000 volumes of Chinese language teaching materials and cultural readings, Library of Chinese Classics and a set of equipment of China Exploratorium. In addition, we provide 50 quota of training in China for teachers, and 50 Confucius Institute Scholarship quota for Canada which I hope can be beneficial for your Chinese language learning."
Teachers and students at the site smiled cheerfully.
Then, Li Changchun, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, Carleton President Roseann O'Reilly Runte, Director-General of Hanban Mdm. Xu Lin jointly unveiled the plaque for the Confucius Institute at Carleton University. As the curtain was unveiled gradually, the plaque with "Confucius Institute" in both Chinese and English was presented to all, enthusiastic applauses sounding again. As the fourteenth Confucius Institute in Canada, it serves as a bridge to strengthen understanding and friendship of the two peoples.
Students of several Confucius Institutes in Canada staged programs with distinctive Chinese features. Accompanied by mild and sounding music, 7 students in traditional Chinese costume danced elegantly with red fans in hands; poetry reading Snow: to the Tune of Chin Yuan Chun was defined by rhythmic rise and fall and passion; semichorus Let Us Sway Twin Oars was melodious, sweet and lively.
The wonderful performances staged by students won rounds of applauses from Chinese distinguished guests.
Li Changchun took group photo with teachers and students following the performance and amiably said to Shi Bihua, reciter of Snow: to the Tune of Chin Yuan Chun and student of Confucius Institute, that "you have a deep and strong voice." The girl smiled knowingly.
Li Meiqi, student of Confucius Institute in Quebec, told the reporter that "China is advanced with changes on each passing day. Learning Chinese can provide many development opportunities. I like Chinese culture and visiting China."
Li Zheng, foreign director of the Confucius Institute at Carleton University, said that Li Changchun's inauguration of the Confucius Institute represents a great event for Carleton University, Ottawa and even Canada as a whole. The establishment of the Confucius Institute provides an access for local residents to learn Chinese and opens a gate for Canadian people to China.
Reporters of Xinhua News Agency: Shang Jun, Zhang Dacheng and Shi Li