Chargé d'Affaires Mr Peng Yijun Attends the Founding Ceremony of the China Reading Corner at Sacred Heart Minor Seminary
2023-01-20 23:26

On 19th January 2023, as the Chinese Lunar New Year is approaching, the Embassy and Sacred Heart Minor Seminary jointly held the founding ceremony of the China Reading Corner and celebrated the Spring Festival. Mr Peng Yijun, Chargé d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Malta, attended and addressed the ceremony. Fr Charles Sultana, head of the School, Mr Paul Galea, Teacher-Librarian and more than 200 guests including the teachers and students of the school participated the ceremony.

Mr Peng extended New Year greetings to all teachers and students and said that he is very glad to attend the founding ceremony of the Chinese Reading Corner as the Chinese New Year is around the corner. Having been accumulating and evolving in more than 5,000 years, Chinese culture is broad and profound. But the core is the “和 (harmony)”. A big garden of culture could be built, where different cultures from different countries could grow and flourish together through inclusiveness and mutual learning. He hopes through this event and these books, the Chinese culture could be brought from thousands of kilometers away to the campus, and to the students’ side.

Mr Peng mentioned that the cultural ties between China and Malta are long-standing and well-established. The two countries just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. The China Cultural Centre in Malta is the first announced cultural center in Europe. The Confucius Institute at University of Malta has made more people interested in Chinese culture. the Mediterranean Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine has been in operation for nearly 30 years, and has provided medical treatment to more than 200,000 Maltese citizens. The students are much welcomed to visit the Classical Suzhou-style garden built half a century ago by the Chinese government—the Garden of Serenity. China and Malta have become an example for exchanges and mutual learning between countries with different cultures.

Mr Peng pointed out that in August last year, President Xi Jinping replied a warm letter to the teachers and students of the "China Corner" of St Margaret College Secondary School in Malta, encouraging more Maltese teachers, students, and young people to actively engage in bilateral cultural exchanges, promote mutual learning between our civilizations, and carry forward the great tradition of friendship between the Chinese and Maltese people. Today's ceremony made me deeply feel the enthusiasm of the students for understanding and learning Chinese culture. He hopes the students will keep this enthusiasm, study hard, and become the " ambassadors" of the China-Malta friendship from generation to generation.

The headmaster expressed his gratitude to the Chinese embassy for donating a large number of books and materials about China and Chinese culture to the school library. He said that Malta and China are far apart with huge differences in history, culture, and territory. However, the establishment of the China Reading Corner will provide good opportunities for students to know more about China.

The student representative said in his speech that the books the Chinese Embassy donated are particularly valuable. It is a very important symbolic gesture of friendship and respect by the Chinese people. They will have an enhanced opportunity to deepen their knowledge through reading the literature about different fields. The concept of“harmony in diversity” in the traditional Chinese culture underlines mutual respect, inclusiveness, mutual learning and peaceful co-existence, which is very similar with the concept of “United in diversity” in Europe's culture. Through today's event, they really feels that they have become participants in the cultural exchanges and friendship between Malta and China.

The embassy and The China Cultural Centre prepared videos introducing Chinese Lunar New Year, and invited musicians to play Chinese zither and erhu fiddle for students and teachers. After the ceremony, Mr Peng visited the school library and the China Reading Corner.

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