Feature: Opening Ceremony of Chinese Weekend Class in Sri Lanka

[Source]    xinhuanet.com [Time]    2018-10-11 16:20:37 
 

“I like China. I’ve been to China twice for in-service studies. I hope that my children can learn Chinese and love China the way I do.”

On the morning of September 29, Pass Raj, who works for the Sri Lankan Air Force, came with his wife and two daughters to attend the opening ceremony of the Chinese Weekend Class at the assembly hall of University of Kelaniya in Colombo. His daughters have signed up for the primary Chinese course.

It is known that the Chinese Weekend Class provides primary courses, intermediate courses and advanced courses, and each takes 5 months to complete. Since the first weekend class set up in University of Kelaniya, it has attracted more than 10,000 students. This year, nearly 200 students have applied for the weekend class, of which 140 primary were primary class students. Those who perform well in the Chinese Weekend Class could get a chance to study in China, and for that reason it enjoys tremendous popularity among Chinese language lovers every year.

At the opening ceremony, both the foreign and Chinese director of the Confucius Institute at University of Kelaniya delivered a speech to encourage students to learn Chinese and know more about the China as well as its culture. Following, the teachers from the Confucius Institute introduced HSK, “Chinese Bridge” competitions and requirements for the Chinese Weekend Class.

Students in the weekend class come from all walks of life, including secondary school students and people in their sixties who gathered for different reasons.

Bhandara, who works in a shopping mall, said: “Many of my customers are Chinese, so I hope to learn basic Chinese to communicate with them.”

Chamila Silva is an employee of Colombo International Container Terminals. He graduated from university in 2016 and joined a China-invested company, in charge of health, safety and environment. “I work with Chinese people, so it would help me to better communicate with them by learning Chinese.”

Anand, a 35-year-old engineer, said, “I know it is hard to learn Chinese, but I have decided to complete the whole systematic learning—from the primary class to the advanced class. My current job has nothing to do with China, but considering the fact that there are a number of Chinese projects in Sri Lanka, maybe someday Chinese will be useful for me!”

Dr. Dilrukshi Ratnayaka, Head of the Modern Languages Faculty, said that with the further deepening exchange and cooperation in all areas between Sri Lanka and China, an increasing number of people in Sri Lanka have come to realize the importance of Chinese learning. Meanwhile, starting with language and cultural integration, the Confucius Institutes have built a bridge for people to connect with each other and become a window for the world to understand China and develop a more profound friendship with Chinese people.

(Story by Tang Lu and Zhu Ruiqing, xinhuanet.com, Colombo, September 30th)

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