Hungarian university's Chinese department celebrates 100th birthday

(Xinhua) 10:52, November 21, 2023

BUDAPEST, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Department of Chinese Studies at Hungary's Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE) celebrated its 100th birthday here on Monday.

The university's rector Laszlo Borhy highlighted the institution's vital role in fostering Hungarian-Chinese relations over the last century.

"Over the years, our university has been a center for Chinese education, nurturing experts proficient in the language and culture," Borhy said. He said that the university is the only institution in Hungary to offer comprehensive Chinese studies, from undergraduate to doctoral levels.

"Graduates have gone on to become professors, translators, and ambassadors, contributing to the flourishing of Hungarian-Chinese relations today," he added.

Chinese Ambassador to Hungary Gong Tao commended the department for fostering cultural, educational, and language exchanges between Hungary and China. He noted the establishment of Hungary's first Confucius Institute in 2006 at ELTE.

Viktor Eszterhai, research director of the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs, emphasized the growing significance of China's cultural heritage: "China is undergoing a transformation ... the country is experiencing a kind of Renaissance, with which it is regaining its former civilizational significance. It is therefore crucial to train experts who are familiar with the Chinese cultural and civilizational heritage."

Imre Hamar, director of ELTE's Confucius Institute and head of the Department of Chinese Studies, stressed the department's need to evolve, while preserving its century-old tradition in Sinology: "I believe that the future development of the Chinese department can only be ensured by preserving our century-old sinological tradition while continuously responding to new challenges, and shaping Chinese education in innovative ways."

The commemorative event included a concert by students from the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music of China, Guzheng performances, a Lion Dance, and a Kungfu display.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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