Confucius Institute at the University of Helsinki in Finland Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

[Source]    Confucius Institute at the University of Helsinki, Finland [Time]    2017-06-07 17:51:27 

On May 22nd local time, the Confucius Institute at the University of Helsinki in Finland held a ceremony marking its 10th anniversary in the auditorium of the campus’s main building. Pirkko Mattila, Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Anna Mauranen, Vice President of the University of Helsinki, Zhang Bin, Political Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Finland and Jin Nuo, Party Secretary of Renmin University of China attended the ceremony. More than 200 people from all walks of life attended the celebration, including officials from the government and education departments, representatives from enterprises, scholars and students of Finland.

Chinese students at the University of Helsinki singing as a choir

In her speech, Pirkko Mattila mentioned that China and Finland shared a long-standing friendship. With President Xi Jinping’s visit to Finland around the 100th anniversary of its independence, China and Finland have strengthened its cooperation in every field and made remarkable progress in bilateral relations. Pirkko Mattila highly recognized the contribution made by the Confucius Institute at the University of Helsinki to promoting communication between the two countries. She also wished the institute a bright future.

Pirkko Mattila delivering a speech

Anna Mauranen also made a speech in which she highly praised the institute for its contributions in the past 10 years to Chinese language teaching and cultural communication between China and Finland. She said that the quality of Chinese teaching at the institute was widely acknowledged, which would attract more Finnish to learn Chinese and know about China.

Anna Mauranen giving a speech

Zhang Bin, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, made a speech, offering his congratulations to the institute and elaborating on the educational and philosophical ideas of Confucius. Zhang Bin said that China-Finland relations have gained new momentum. He hoped that both countries would work together for mutual benefits. Over the past decade, the institute has made great achievements in promoting cultural exchanges between China and Finland. It is hoped that, in the future, Chinese language teachers would practice the teaching idea: “In the pursuit of knowledge, curiosity is more important than knowledge itself, and interest is even more important than pure curiosity”, so as to encourage to fully discover and nurture learners’ interest in the Chinese language and culture.

Zhang Bin delivering a speech

On behalf of Renmin University of China, Chinese partner of the institute, Jin Nuo congratulated the institute and expressed gratitude to the University of Helsinki for its support. Jin Nuo pointed out that, as the only Confucius Institute in Finland, the institute has been practicing the role as a bridge for cultural exchange and mutual learning between China and Finland as always. She hoped that, the Confucius Institute would keep on injecting vitality into bilateral exchanges and the two universities would strengthen cooperation in science and research fields and enjoy ever-lasting friendship.

Jin Nuo giving a speech

Aino Ropponen, a student representative of the institute, gave a speech that highlighted this event. Aino Ropponen has studied Chinese for five years at the institute, accompanying and growing up with it. Ever since she began learning Chinese, Aino became so fascinated with China that she made a trip to Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan. She said, “I still have lots of dreams about China and the future”. At the end of her speech, Aino Ropponen sang the song My Future is not a Dream. Her beautiful voice echoed in the auditorium, reflecting a Finnish girl’s China dream.

Aino Ropponen making a speech

In the end, Julie Chen, Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute and Wang Hong, Chinese Director of the institute, presented awards to Prof. Anna Mauranen and other guests to express gratitude for their support and help over the past ten years.

A group photo of award winners and guest speakers