Chinese Language Gains Popularity in Tajikistan

[Source]    People’s Daily [Time]    2019-06-20 18:07:38 

Students of Tajik National University showing their paper cutting works

“Studying Chinese broadens my horizon.” “I’d like to visit China.” “Thanks to President Xi, who makes Tajikistan-China relations closer, we can have the chance to learn more about China.” “On the wings of knowledge, we’ll develop our career in the sky of Tajikistan-China friendship.” ……When Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the fifth summit of Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and paid a state visit to the Republic of Tajikistan, students of the Confucius Institute at Tajik National University, with great expectations for the future of the bilateral relations, shared their stories with People’s Daily about how they became attached to China and to Chinese language.

“I’m so grateful to President Xi!” Halimova Shohina, a junior student at Tajik National University said. She noted that China not only provided a lot of help for the development of Tajikistan, but also gave Tajik students the opportunities to study in China. Speaking fluent Chinese, Shohina won the championship of the Tajik Division of Chinese Bridge-Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students in 2019. She is also good at making Chinese cuisine and the video of her making Kung Pao Chicken with her friends was repeated on the Tajik Film Channel.

In recent years, more and more Tajik people have signed up for the Chinese Proficiency Test, also known as the HSK. In the first half of 2019, the number of candidates taking HSK test at the Confucius Institute at Tajik National University registered 1,917, setting a new high.

Kasimov Farruh, Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute at Tajik National University, believed that the popularity of Chinese language in Tajikistan is attributable to the rapid development of Tajikistan-China relations. Local people are eager to learn about China, with a consensus that “mastering Chinese can lead to better career development”.

In 1997, Russian-Tajik (Slavonic) University (RTSU) opened the first Chinese language major in its Oriental Language Department. Since the establishment of the Confucius Institute at Tajik National University in 2009, the Chinese side has sent more than 100 teachers and provided a large amount of Chinese teaching resources, donated Chinese books, and funded computer language classrooms.

“I hope there will be more teaching sites.” “I hope there will be more Chinese cultural activities.”...... The needs of educational institutions in Tajikistan have made Farruh feel busy and happy. According to reports, the Confucius Institute has organized more than 800 educational and cultural activities.

This is a road of friendship connecting China and Tajikistan. For more than 2,000 years, the ancient Silk Road has brought the two peoples together. Today, Chinese green tea has become part of a comfortable life for many locals; the National Library of Tajikistan built by Chinese companies has been printed on the 200-somoni note; “Nihao” has become a pet phrase used by many Tajik people...

Learning Chinese language has brought Chinese and Tajik people closer to each other. Farruh said that along the ancient Silk Road, China and Tajikistan have established deep friendship. Under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, people-to-people exchanges and cultural cooperation between the two countries will surely be deeper and broader. At present, more and more students who speak Chinese and understand Chinese culture are contributing their strength to the cultural cooperation between China and Tajikistan.

(Story and photo by Chen Shangwen, People’s Daily, page 3, June 14th, 2019)

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