China-Africa Youths Jointly Propose Initiative to Protect Cultural Heritage

[Source]    Department of Confucius Institutes of Beijing Language and Culture University [Time]    2018-08-30 09:39:31 
 

On August 21st, the China-Africa Youths Summer Camp, sponsored by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and organized by Beijing Language and Culture University, was launched in Beijing. 300 Chinese and African youths went together to the Imperial Palace to experience Chinese culture. At the Great Wall, they conducted activities advocating inheritance and protection of cultural heritage, appealing others to contribute to the cultural protection.

Along the way, the campers were in high spirits and greeted the first wisp of sunshine in Beijing with pleasant singing. As the bus entered the ancient city, the Chinese-style buildings with gray sloping roofs came into view. The campers all gasped with admiration at the lofty drum tower, the sparkling moat and the towering ancient city wall. A young man from Kenya bent over to touch the mottled stone bricks, feeling the charm of the small corner in this ancient capital, which has stood the test of time.

The arrival of the campers added a different kind of vitality to the imperial city. Several girls from Cameroon improvised some traditional African dances in the open space, which attracted many visitors in the Imperial Palace. Other campers were also vying to interact with Chinese tourists. Such a lively scene!


Campers in the Imperial Palace

Zong Siyu, a camper from Tianjin Normal University, said: “Seeing brothers and sisters from Kenya dance and sing at the Forbidden City, we can feel their genuine enthusiasm. I think that one of the purposes of this summer camp is to share the joy and pleasure with more people.” When talking about how to introduce the Imperial Palace to African friends, she said: “I think the Imperial Palace is a symbol of Chinese civilization, and it represents the long-standing history of the Chinese nation. Just like what Mr. Shan Jixiang, Director of the Palace Museum, has said, the Imperial Palace belongs to all of us. I hope more foreign friends can come to the Imperial Palace to experience Chinese culture.”


Zong Siyu

Xiang Zhuyan, who comes from Mozambique, said: “If my friends are coming to China, I will definitely recommend the Imperial Palace to them. This is an incredible trip. It is hard to imagine that hundreds of years ago Chinese could already build this grand and magnificent palace only with wood. Chinese campers and tourists are very hospitable to us. I hope I could participate in such cultural exchange activities more often in the future to continue China-Africa youth friendship!”


Xiang Zhuyan

Later on, the Summer Camp went to the Great Wall. The campers sang Chinese songs such as “The Great China” and “Xiao Wei” on the plank road of the Great Wall, which won the cheers of tourists. When visiting the Great Wall and walking on the steps, the campers, with their sense of responsibility to history and reverence for culture, reflected on how to strengthen the protection of the Great Wall and build a “Great Wall” for protection of the Great Wall by the whole society and the whole world. Basking in the splendid sunshine, the youngsters were inspired and ambitious. They made a resounding declaration through an initiative entitled “The Duty-Bound Responsibility of the Youths for Civilization Inheritance—Cultural Heritage Learning and Protection Initiative for Global Youths”. They called on the young people in the world to take positive actions to protect the world cultural heritage, becoming civilized visitors and active protectors and communicators in the protection of cultural heritage.


The Great Wall initiative


Campers at the Great Wall

Xiong Yiyi, who comes from Chongqing Normal University, said: “African youths are good at singing and dancing, and they are even more willing to show their talents in the interaction with Chinese youths. I think that being a volunteer Chinese language teacher in Africa is a good choice for youths who are dedicated to promoting China-Africa exchanges.” As for the initiative on the protection of the cultural relics of the Great Wall, she said: “The cultural relic is not only the precious historical and cultural heritage of each country, but also the common cultural wealth of all mankind. The Great Wall is a symbol of the Chinese nation, so as youths, we should always bear the faith in protecting cultural relics in our mind.”


Xiong Yiyi

Antonio, who comes from Equatorial Guinea, said: “There is an old Chinese saying which goes: ‘He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man,’ Today all campers of our China-Africa Youths Summer Camp have visited the Great Wall, so it can be said that we are all great fellows. Before coming to China, I have already heard of the Great Wall, but today I come here personally and I am completely shocked by its grandeur. Like the declaration for preservation of cultural relics we have signed, the Great Wall, as a bright pearl of world civilization, should be fully protected and renovated. Only in this way can the Chinese civilization continue and can we introduce such a great landscape to the next generation. ”


Antonio

Mutual understanding and trust between Chinese and African youth people are the sound cornerstone for the development of the China-Africa relations. This event contributes to further consolidating the traditional friendship between China and Africa, promoting the mutual understanding of outstanding youths in China and Africa and strengthening cultural exchanges and mutual learning between China and Africa.

 
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