【from Global Times Online】The 2018 Beijing International Forum on People-to-People Friendship was scheduled to be kicked off on May 26th. The 5-day event, themed with “Promote and Strengthen People-to-People Friendship and Bonds”, is an exchange of both cultures and experiences of municipal governance. It encourages the young generation of each country to carry forward the cause of civil ties, and work together to solidify the foundation of People-to-People exchanges.
The following is a speech delivered by Chaplin Hsiongat the forum on May 27th:
Distinguish Guests , Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to share with your our experience in the area of people to people international Chinese language promotions in the Northern Territory of Australia. Darwin is the capital city of this remote northern part of Australia. For a long time it has been the outback remote region sadly lacking Chines language and culture despite the fact it was one of the earliest Chinese settlements in Australia where the Chinese miners came to look for Gold in Tenant Creek in the 1800s. Unfortunately most Chinese miners once they made their fortune decides to return home in southern China or went south to Victoria and New South Wales. AS such not much Chines cultures or language were left behind and the few descendants did not inherite the rich Chinese culture & language. It was not until recent years when President Xi Jing Ping visited Darwin on his tour of Australia that the Australia China Friendship Society approached the President to start a Confucius Institute at the Charles Darwin University. President Xi promised to fund and staffed it and now it is a reality in Darwin .From there we have expanded teachers arriving from China to teach Mandarin at University , High school and even primary schools. Not only do we promote the language we even have student exchanges between schools in China and Australia to facilitate cross cultural knowledge and experience . This certainly help to create people to people friendship and understanding apart from breaking down barriers of mistrust and misunderstanding between our two countries. In addition we have exhibited traditional arts, calligraphies paper cuttings, face painting , Beijing Operas, Che pow dressing, Chinese fan making, apart from our famous cultural dancing which has charmed many Australians with our colourful costumes and music ,. These were displayed at various functions like Chinese New Years, Mid autumn Festival , CDU barbecues and Nightcliff festivals etc. Yes our endeavours to promote friendship and goodwill between peoples of our two nations is certainly noble and meaningful for it leads to better communications and connectivity between different organizations and government departments and also facilitate trade and commerce more so now China has become Australia’s major trading partner.
Finally, the result is creating a greater understanding of China especially the young generation will be more tolerant and friendly to China who is not only proud of its rising economy and power (one belt one road , made in China 2025 ) but also its heritage, tradition, language and culture which could be shared with our friends in the West.