Inauguration ceremony of the first Confucius Classroom in Tasmania held in Australia
TASMANIA, Australia, November 20 (www.xinhuanet.com, reported by Song Dan and Xu Yanyan) --The inauguration ceremony of the first Confucius Classroom in Tasmania, an island state to the south of the Australian mainland, was held at Scotch Oakburn College, Launceston on November 18 as an important part of the commemorative activities for the historic visit paid by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the state last year.
In his speech at the ceremony Chinese Consul-General to Melbourne Song Yumin noted that the Confucius Classroom at Scotch Oakburn College, as the very first of its kind in Tasmania, was established at the first anniversary of President Xi Jinping’s historic visit to the state. President Xi’s visit last year greatly promoted Tasmania-China and Australia-China relations, resulting in concrete and remarkable progress in exchanges in various fields, he said.
Mr. Song added, “The Confucius Classroom marks another milestone for our friendship. Undoubtedly, it will evolve into a platform for Tasmanian children to better study Chinese and understand Chinese culture, and further promote Chinese language teaching in Tasmania. Scotch Oakburn College and Beijing’s Jingshan School are sister schools, and the sisterhood is certainly more important than bilateral trade figures in that it is the friendship between us that nourishes our common future – children.”
Andy Müller, principal of Scotch Oakburn College, said, “We feel very honored that Scotch Oakburn College is accepted as one of the qualified schools that run Confucius Classrooms around the world. Since the visit paid by President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan last year, Scotch Oakburn College has gained many benefits from the deepening Australia-China relations, our students’ traveling to China being one of them. On behalf of Scotch Oakburn College, I cordially asked Consul-General Song Yumin to convey our gratitude to the Chinese government for its kind invitation and the hospitality of the Chinese people. The Confucius Classroom at Scotch Oakburn College is vitally important for our students to study Chinese language and culture, which will certainly benefit youths in Australia and bring closer the friendship between the Chinese and Australian peoples.”
Ethan Hamilton, a seventh grader at Scotch Oakburn College, delivered a speech on behalf of his fellow students, “I like Chinese language and culture so much. I love studying Chinese. On behalf of students studying Chinese here I’d like to extend our thanks to you for the establishment of the Confucius Classroom. It will surely help us better understand Chinese language, culture and history.”
“I started to study Chinese in Grade Six. I chose Chinese because Chinese language and culture were fun to me. I want to be a journalist in future, and gazillions of people will read my news reports if they are written in Chinese.” A 12-year-old seventh grader named Bronte told the Xinhua reporter.
The students sang the Chinese song Jasmine together at the ceremony, winning a round of applause from guests present including the mayor of Launceston and the school board members. Bronte said that Jasmine, to their knowledge, is the most classic song sung on the occasion of welcoming distinguished guests from afar in China.
Text by Song Dan, Xu Yanyan