Chinese culture irrigates tree of mutual understanding

12:39, November 21, 2010      

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Wearing Cheongsams and holding Chinese traditional folding fans, a group of blond young ladies in up-do hair style were performing Chinese dances with splendid music on the stage.

Rapturous applause from the audience poured over them - the students of Moscow 1948 middle school, famous for its Chinese education.

The school is not the only one that is running Chinese courses. Now more than 40 universities and some 20 middle and primary schools list Chinese as their first foreign language.

The year 2010, "Year of Chinese Language" in Russia has expanded cultural exchanges between China and Russia, leaving both countries' people numerous cherished memories.


Language and cultural exchanges between China and Russia have a long history.

Since the mid 17th century, Russia began to send students to China to learn the Chinese language and culture despite the trudge.

In 1708, the Chinese government opened the first official school offering Russian language courses.

As new China was established 60 years ago, more people from both sides started to learn each others' languages and the courses were more accessible in reach than ever before.

Now 17 Confucius Institutes and three Confucius classrooms opened in Russia from the extreme southeast Far Eastern city of Vladivostok to Kazan along the Volga River, with more than 24,700 Russian student studying Chinese language.

"Among the well-known Chinese foods, I love the red-sauced braised pork most. And I'm pretty sure it is the favorite dish for at least two persons - me and Chairman Mao," a Russian college student said in a contest, drawing laughter and applause.

The contest, known as "Everybody Speaks Chinese," began in August with hundreds of language learners filing audio clips of themselves speaking Chinese via the Internet.

"They all have fallen in love with the Chinese language, and with China," the judges said of the contestants' performances.


As Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev exchanged New Year greetings and formally launched the "Year of Chinese Language" in Russia on Dec. 31, 2009, the year of 2010 has witnessed various events being held in Russia.

In January, artists from China's Central Conservatory of Music and Russia's Moscow Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky Conservatory jointly presented the classic Russian opera Eugene Onegin in Moscow.

In June, a Chinese movie week was unveiled during the 32nd Moscow International Film Festival at the October Cinema. It featured seven Chinese films from the Goddess in the 1930s to the contemporary Painted Skin.

Since June 15, a major Chinese teaching program "Hello China" entered Russia's mainstream broadcasting. It consists of TV series, educational broadcasts and paper materials.

The program, built on 100 words representing the quintessence of traditional Chinese culture, such as China, Beijing Opera, Taiji, kite and panda, was a key event under the framework of Chinese Language Year in Russia.

In September, the original Chinese historical opera Mulan Psalm, based on the well-known Chinese folktale Mulan, was staged in the Kremlin and won acclaim.

In October, a Chinese modern poetry collection of Russian language version debuted in Moscow. It showed 60 poems by 30 Chinese poets from different times over the past century and opened a window for Russians to see the unique charisma of Chinese poetry.

Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui described the close-to-end Chinese Language Year in Russia as a milestone in the history of bilateral cultural cooperation.
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